Even though the series hasn't aired a new episode in decades, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air is still nestled tightly in the hearts of many fans and manages to continue captivating young audiences who didn't have the pleasure of cackling at the show after school the first time round. Always rewatchable, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air is genuinely timeless, a show which appeals to a variety of generations and to people of varying backgrounds and experiences, with the power to make you laugh until hot tears flood your face and to also totally move you to a choked up, tearful wreck (the episode about Will's dad? My heart!).
But there was also something bizarrely English about the show with its fixation on class politics, very British butler, preppy children, and placement in high society. Thankfully, the English subtext of the show was never allowed to develop any further than that, because I've had a think about it and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air would be a very different show if it was set in England. Whether it would have been a better show or a worse show is for you to decide, but one thing is for certain: we all probably would have marathoned it all the same.
1. Will Would Probably Be A Literal Prince
Like, duh! He would have probably been 454th in line to the throne, but Will would totally be reppin' some regal blood. And a big old crown.
2. Carlton Would Be The Most Popular Guy In School
Seriously, he's preppy, he's incredibly rich, he loves wearing suits, and, if he would have gone to one of the elite schools in England, he would have been the Zach Morris of that place.
3. Will's "Confrontation" Would Have Been Over Football, Not Basketball
No, not American football. And it would have probably been fueled by a four-pack of cheap lager and the "offside" ruling — which I understand, but refuse to talk about, due to the amount of arguments it's caused over the years.
4. The Theme Tune Would Have Been Terrible
Look, I'm not saying that England hasn't produced some A-Class TV shows with killer themes in its time, but in the '90s? Eh, we were kind of struggling. There's no chance that the TV bosses of England were cool enough in the '90s to allow Will Smith's music to dominate their airwaves.
5. The Politics Would Remain The Same
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air had some pretty powerful discussions about class and race politics, and you can bet that wouldn't have changed in England, where the dialogue surrounding such issues has been powerful for decades.
6. Carlton's Dance Would Be Less Eddie Murphy And More Zig-A-Zig-Ah
The Spice Girls might have been a worldwide phenomenon in the '90s, but in Britain they were everything. Plus Carlton would have totally rocked some snazzy Union Jack shorts whilst he shimmied those knees and you know it.
7. Geoffrey Would Be, Well, Geoffrey
He is the quintessential Brit, right down to his sarcastic sneer and trampled spirits (long live Geoffrey!).
8. Hilary Banks Would Be A Full Blown Aristocratic "It-Girl"
England loves to obsess over its rich, beautiful women, and Hilary Banks loved to be adored for her riches and beauty. It was meant to be.
9. The Banks Family Would Have Lived In Downton Abbey
Or, you know, somewhere just like it. I grew up in a very normally sized house, so can only assume that Downton Abbey is total endgame housing for all English families with some kind of money.
10. Jazzy Jeff Would Have Just Been Given An ASBO
I'll never quite fully understand why Uncle Phil felt the need to actually physically throw Jazz out of his home every time. In Britain, we have something called an ASBO, which grants a court officiated order to restrict the behavior of problematic youths (and adults) who cause distress to people. It's better than physical violence, Phil. Chill out.
11. Will's Wardrobe Would Have Contained Even More Matching Polyester Sports Suits
They were the only thing to wear in the early to mid-'90 if you were a working class kid in Britain (except, we called them tracksuits or trackies). Trust me, I have completed the personal research.
12. The Banks Children Would Have Probably Attended Boarding School
And how much would that have sucked the fun out of the entire show? Completely.
13. Slang That Confused Uncle Phil Would Be Totally Different
We didn't say "dope" or "neat" or stuff like that, but dads throughout the country were just as troubled by words and phrases such as "know what I mean," "mate," and "bagsy that last chocolate bar."
Though it never happened in England, I think we can all unite on the opinion that the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air should be treated as television royalty. Long may it reign!
Images: Warner Bros. Television; Giphy (13)