It is no secret that Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is my favorite TV show. It is also no secret that if I could be adopted by any TV family, it would be the Banks family, with a close second being the Owens family from Mr. Belvedere. Maybe I have a thing for grumbling old British butlers. For some reason Fresh Prince is on continuously. I watch episodes I’ve seen over and over again but every now and then, to my amazement, I catch one I haven’t seen before, giving Fresh Prince the air of mystery that you just can’t recapture when you know you’ve seen every episode of Saved By the Bell, or when you’ve made it a point to watch every episode of 90210 in sequential order.
As I sat down to watch FP last night, I got the urge to write down some of my most memorable Fresh Prince moments. My inspiration was pure, in that the episode on was not one of those cheap past-show memory montages that producers used to do once or twice a year to kill time and not pay actors.
Funniest Moment: The time when Aunt Viv and Uncle Phil were away and Carlton rented the house out to shoot a Bel Biv Devoe video, and Will and Tyrique try to be in it, dancing around in their pjs.
Most Triumphant: When Will steals the car to go play pool and gets hustled, then Uncle Phil and Geoffrey go down there to get Will’s money back and pretend they don’t know how to play but bet anyway. After losing badly, Uncle Phil thinks he’s getting the hang of it and wants to play another game, double or nothing. Then he tells Geoffrey to break out Bertha, and Geoffrey pulls a pool cue OUT OF HIS PANTS. And of course Phil wins.
No He Didn’t: Will wouldn’t take Queen Latifah to the dance because she’s too fat!
Most Humbling: Will threw the big basketball game against Malibu Prep so the poor kid from the other team would get the college scholarship.
Best Tom Jones Moment: Tom Jones shows up to console Carlton when he doesn’t get into Princeton… and Will does. Oh no!
Dramatic Social Issue Tackling: Carlton takes speed from Will’s locker and has to go to the hospital and makes Will cry.
Typical Prep School: When Will fails music he has to dress up like a flower and sing at a recital with 8 year olds in order to graduate high school.
Episodes That Made Me Cry: When Will’s deadbeat dad came back and promised to take him on the road for the summer then, surprise, disappeared again and Will’s all “I don’t need you!” but he starts to cry and buries his face into the comfort of Uncle Phil’s bosom. Also the one where Ice Tray (played by Don Cheadle!) comes to visit Will and Aunt Viv is putting him down because he’s not serious, but it turns out Ice Tray was the one fighting off the kids who tried to beat Will up when he tried to take books home from school. Apparently they don’t take kindly to learning in West Philadelphia. And pretty much any other episode where whatever trouble ensues it warrants an Uncle Phil hug.
What?!: When all of the sudden Aunt Viv was a different, completely dissimilar Aunt Viv, and the old Aunt Viv told everyone that Will kicked her off the show. Or when Aunt Viv had a baby, and all of the sudden he was 6 years old, over the course of two seasons. And when Geoffrey’s “long lost son” showed up but he wasn’t his son at all. And what about when Hilary was going to marry Trevor but he died in a bungee jumping accident and they made it this big funny joke? What is “maxin’”? What?!