InsidePulse DVD Review – The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – Season 2


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InsidePulse DVD Review – The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – Season 2

Creators:

Andy Borowitz
Susan Borowitz

Cast:

Will Smith … Will Smith
James Avery … Philip Banks
Janet Hubert-Whitten … Vivian Banks
Alfonso Ribeiro … Carlton Banks
Karyn Parsons … Hilary Banks
Tatyana M. Ali … Ashley Banks
Joseph Marcell … Geoffrey Butler

Recurring Characters:
Jenifer Lewis … Aunt Helen
Perry Moore … Tyriq
Felton Perry … Uncle Lester
Jeff Townes … Jazz
Vernee Watson-Johnson … Viola ‘Vy’ Smith
Charlayne Woodard … Aunt Janice

The Show:
As the theme song says:
Now this is the story all about how,
My life got flipped, turned upside down,
And I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there,
I’ll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel Air.

In West Philadelphia I was born and raised
On the playground is where I spent most of my days.
Chillin’ out, maxin’, relaxin all cool,
And all shootin’ some b-ball outside of the school.

When a couple of guys who were up to no good,
Started makin’ trouble in my neighborhood.
I got in one little fight and my mom got scared,
And said “You’re movin’ with your auntie and uncle in bel Air.”

(lyrics are (c) Will Smith and Jeff Townes)

Not much else to say. Will’s a small fish in a bigger pond, but lucky for him the pond’s filled with San Pellegrino and he’s living the high life. And getting into trouble.

Episodes:
Disc One:

2-1, Did the Earth Move For You?
Notable Guest Star: Tisha Campbell (‘My Wife and Kids’, ‘Martin’) as Kathleen

Will gets stuck in a storage shed with his teddy bear (and his girlfriend, Kathleen) during an earthquake.

Quote: “Isn’t that romantic? He’s quoting Elmer Fudd” – Geoffrey, when Will gets all “schmoopy” on the phone.

Trivia: This episode introduces the new living room set for the Banks, and Uncle Phil goes for the full beard that he sports throughout the rest of the run.

2-2, The Mother of All Battles
Ashley gets in trouble with a bully. And the whole family gets involved. Except Hilary, of course.

Quote: “You expect me to believe that. EVERYBODY likes Vanilla Ice” – Carlton

Note: According to the Home Theater Forum, this may be the syndicated version of the episode.

2-3, Will Gets a Job
Will gets a job to help pay for Homecoming, because he’s becoming too used to the rich life. And Ashley’s friend Tina develops a crush… on Carlton?

Quote: “It’s only worth $25, besides, it’s hard on your knees” – Hilary. On begging, perverts.

2-4, PSAT Pstory
Will gets a better PSAT score than Carlton, which drives Carlton crazy. Meanwhile, Geoffrey quits after Philip takes him for granted.

Quote: “Thank you Sir… and with my newfound wealth, I can treat myself to a Happy Meal” – Geoffrey, expressing the joy of getting a raise of $20 a week.

2-5, Granny Gets Busy
Hattie Banks moves on with her life, and Philip can’t handle it. Meanwhile, Will, Carlton, Hilary and Ashley wage a battle of the sexes that results in the usual “hilarity” that this produces in a sitcom.

Quote: “Zeke are you feeling okay? Your face is longer than Arsenio Hall’s” – Grandma gets a choice slam in on Philip.

2-6, Guess Who’s Coming to Marry?
Notable Guest Star: Diedrich Bader (‘The Drew Carey Show’, ‘Office Space’) as the first Frank

Will’s Aunt Janice is getting married… to a tall guy.

Quote: “Madam, the day you do everything yourself is the day I square dance naked on the White House lawn” – Geoffrey, commenting on Hilary doing everything on her own

Disc Two:

2-7, The Big Four-Oh
Vivan has a mid-life crisis when she turns 40, so she quits her professorship to follow her dream of becoming a dancer.

Quote: “There isn’t a part of my body that isn’t aching for Ben-Gay” – Vivian, telling some of us what we can look forward to at forty.

Trivia: First episode of the season with bloopers during the end credits.

2-8, She Ain’t Heavy
Notable Guest Stars: Queen Latifah as Dee Dee and Nia Long (who returned in season 5 as Lisa) as Claudia

Will starts falling for a plus-sized girl. And Philip hurts his back and gets addicted to the Home Shopping Network.

Quote: “I don’t do blind dates. I mean you think it’s gonna be Mr. Right, and it turns out to be some tall, skinny guy with big ears and weird clothes.” – Dee Dee slamming Will.

2-9, Cased Up
Notable Guest Star: Malcolm Jamal-Warner (‘The Cosby Show’) as Eric

Will buys a car, and gets run into by Hilary’s new boyfriend, causing them to go to court to settle the dispute.

Quote: “How nice to see the whole family having fun together. I thought that only happened on ‘The Cosby Show'” – Eric

Trivia: First time this season that Jazz gets thrown out.

2-10, Hi-Ho Silver
Notable Guest Star: Zsa Zsa Gabor as Sonya Lamor

Will and Carlton think that B-movie star Sonya Lamor stole Vivian’s heirloom silverware, which results in what Scott Keith would call a “wacky stack”.

Quote: “Ladies and Gentlemen, the star of Heidi goes to Harlem” – Will on Ashley’s hairdo

2-11, The Butler Did It
Notable Guest Stars: Bel Biv Devoe as themselves

With Philip, Vivian and Geoffrey gone for the weekend, Carlton arranges for a video to be shot at the house. But unlike things in Michael Scofield’s world, things don’t always work out as planned.

Quote: “Look man this is my house. You want to be in a video you go rob a liquor store.” – Will, to Ty

2-12, Something for Nothing
Will wins $1000 at the country club fundraiser, but balks when he learns he has to “donate” it back to the club.

Quote: “I can’t believe he thinks I’m too young to gamble. I’ve been eating Hilary’s cooking since I was three” = Ashley, on not being allowed to attend the fund-raising casino night.

Disc Three:
2-13, Christmas Show
Notable Guest Star: Diedrich Bader returns as Frank

The Smith sisters (and family) gather in Utah for a ski vacation over Christmas. And while the adults are out partying (and despite overwhelming numbers) the kids are robbed by a guy who looks like Woody Allen. Oh, and Janice might be pregnant.

Quote: “Carlton, skiing is for white guys named Sven. And O.J. Simpson.” – Will

2-14, Hilary Gets a Life
Hilary, cut off from her credit cards by Philip and Vivian, is forced to get a job. Unfortunately she screws up and it’s up to Will and Ty to bail her out.

Quote: “This is my only chance to date a woman who doesn’t wear all her gold in her mouth” – Ty, on his dating problems

2-15, My Brother’s Keeper
Will is determined to impress a college basketball scout, until he meets his competition

Quote: “Yo Slimmy, you need some help with your African-American studies? We can go back to my place and let freedom ring.” – Ty, showing the charm that gets him, well, nobody.

Trivia: Marcus says he’s going to use his scholarship to get an engineering degree. Will Smith actually turned down an engineering scholarship at M.I.T. to pursue his rap career

2-16, Geoffrey Cleans Up
Geoffrey falls for the rich neighbour. Meanwhile, the kids feel that Philip is losing business because his hair loss makes him look old.

Quote: “My butler is black / My butler is blue / ‘Cuase his honey got green / Comin’ out her wazoo!” – Will “Cryin’ Man” Smith, singing the Black Butler Blues.

2-17, Community Action
Hilary is rather unenthused about having to do community service, until she meets a handsome doctor

Quote: “Now picture this: A man, down on his luck. Lost his woman, lost his job, lost his hope… but enough about Marion Berry. Can Jazz stay here?” – Will makes a plea for his homeless buddy.

2-18, Ill Will
Notable Guest Stars: Milton Berle as Max, Bernie Kopell as Doc (there’s a stretch) and Doctor Dre as himself

Will needs to have his tonsils removed but is very nervous about it. Meanwhile, the rest of the family is nervous about Geoffrey having his menoirs published.

Quote: “Beautiful. I Never forget a face” – Max, after asking a nurse to pick up his lucky hat.

Disc Four:

2-19, Eyes on the Prize
Notable Guest Star: Bob Eubanks as himself

Ty and Jazz feel slighted when Will picks Carlton as his partner to take on a game show.

Quote: Will: “All I gotta do is answer a couple of questions and let my partner squirt some stuff all over me.”
Hilary: “Wasn’t Jimmy Swaggart just arrested for that?”

2-20, Those Were the Days
Notable Guest Star: Tim “We ain’t found shit” Russ as Agent Collins

Vivian and Phil’s hippie friend is on the lam, and she inspires Will to stage his own protest when a teacher is unjustly fired.

Quote: “We tap every Black person’s phone in the United States of America” – Agent Collins, displaying that famed FBI humour.

2-21, Vying for Attention
Notable Guest Star: Raven Symone as Claudia

Will gets jealous when his mom and her boyfriend Robert come to visit.

Quote: “I’d like to impart some words that I’ve always lived by: Mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’ money” – Uncle Phil, giving a toast to Robert.

2-22, The Aunt Who Came to Dinner
Will and Carlton want to score with some French girls, and Phil wants to go to a jazz festival, but Aunt Helen shows up to ruin their plans

Quote: “Yo they don’t have no standards, man. They like Jerry Lewis.” – Will, on the dubious tastes of the French.

2-23, Be My Baby Tonight
Ashley has her first date (alone) with a boy. And she’s trying to prove that she’s more than cute – unless Will can do something about it.

Quotes: “Now, before Kevin comes over I think I should have a little talk with you about boys – They’re all dogs, got it?” – Phil, showing the to-the-point skills that make him a good lawyer.

“I practice abstinence. But I think I’ve got that down and I’m ready to move on” – Carlton, pretty much proving Phil’s point.

Trivia: Since this is a “sex” episode, they of course managed to unearth the infamous “make whoopee” question from ‘The Newlywed Game’. Minus the “in the butt” comment, of course.

2-24, Striptease for Two
Will and Carlton pawn off a priceless heirloom, and need to earn money to get it back. The solution, of course – become strippers.

Quote: “Now when you take a girl out to dinner, they can get something too” – Carlton, in his version of “Buy Low, Sell High for Dummies”

Trivia: This is the only show this season where we see the “Carlton Dance”.

Best Three Episodes:
Guess Who’s Coming to Marry?, Christmas Show, Eyes on the Prize

Worst Three Episodes:
Hi-Ho Silver, Community Action, Those Were the Days

Score: 7.5/10

The DVD:/b>

Video:
The box says that it’s a “standard version”, presented in a format preserving the aspect ratio of it’s original television exhibition. In English, it’s in fullscreen format. The colours look bright, blacks look fine. The picture does some odd skips at times, but it’s pretty rare.

Score: 9/10

Audio:
Again referring to the box, it says “Dolby Digital – Mono”. And given that you’re not looking to a sitcom for surround sound effects, I think you’re not gonna complain.

Score: 6/10

Packaging:
It’s bright, that’s for damn sure. If you don’t believe me, look at the picture above. Interesting to note that the cast pictures all appear to be from season one. There are four dual-layer discs, held on two dual-trays on your standard WB gatefold pullout.

Score: 7/10

Special Features:

Best Bits of Bel Air:
Basically some bits from season 2 along with some pop-up factoids. Plus a montage of Jazz getting tossed out.

Bel-Air Bloopers:
People screw up their lines, and occasionally ham it up for the camera. Or, what you see during the end credits.

Score: 4/10