Bel-Air‘s popularity has only increased since its Summer 2022 premiere on Peacock. With Season 3 already announced and Season 2 currently in high gear, the series is showing no signs of slowing down in its portrayal of Black joy and high drama in this reimagining of the classic 90’s comedy, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
ESSENCE caught up with Coco Jones, Akira Akbar, and Cassandra Freeman just as season 2 kicked off to find out what is in store for their characters this season and how it feels to return to the screen with a captive audience and a fresh crop of viewers interested to find out what the buzz is about.
“There were mixed emotions,” Jones said of returning to tell more of the Bel-Air story after a smash hit first season. “There’s a confidence knowing that you have the culture behind you, and then there’s also an apprehension to make sure they stay engaged and they like what else we have to offer with these storylines.”
“I think the best that we can do is what we did in season 1: be authentic at every opportunity, continue to be in the moment, be inspired to give more life to our characters, and let the rest unfold how it unfolds.”
Unlike its classic counterpart, Bel-Air takes just as hard of a look at the goings-on of the adult Bankses, giving Freeman as aunt Viv a chance to examine the matriarch of the family from a new, unique angle.
“I think [executive producer and creator] Morgan Cooper baked in early on that Aunt Viv would be more than just the matriarch on this show – that you would see a woman living her life in modern times.” Freeman said. “I think [showrunner] Carla Waddles has done an amazing job of creating storylines where it’s about what makes this woman so vulnerable today and why it’s so vulnerable to speak your truth and take up space.”
Bel-Air streams Thursdays on Peacock.