Why didn’t the producers just hire Ted McGinley instead of ending The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? It was obvious there was no way Will Smith was going to sit around the soundstage working on a family oriented sit-com for the next five years. He had become a movie star with the monster hit Bad Boys. He was about to save the world from aliens on Independence Day. How is he supposed to be happy sitting around a kitchen when he could be zipping around the universe in a UFO? It also didn’t help that Smith was no longer that young kid rescued from the Philly ghetto by a posh life in Bel-Air. He was nearly pushing 30 and looked extremely mature on the screen. It was the right time for him to wrap up the show. Will didn’t act like he was slumming it on the set while waiting for his next cinematic role unlike other TV stars with a hit film. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: The Complete Sixth Season is his rapping farewell before he moved to Hollywood. The fans would accept no substitute.
“Get a Job” splits Chris Rock’s acting chops. He plays a famous comedian and his sister. She’s got a thing for Will. How far will he go in order to look good in the comic’s eyes? “Bougie SIngs the Blues” allows Alfonso Riberio to blow his interview for Princeton. But that’s not nearly as interesting as seeing B.B. King and Michael Clarke Duncan. The big thing for the sixth season is Will working on Karyn Parsons’ talk show. “The Script Formerly Known As” has him book a dismissed juror from a high profile hooker trial. Jay Leno makes a cameo from a time when he hadn’t stabbed Conan in the back. “Not I, Barbecue” twists up the double date with the ex-boyfriend that will cause pain. “Not With My Cousin You Don’t” should be displayed in a museum since it brings together Will Smith and Jaleel White. He’s hanging with Urkel.
“Viva Lot Wages” take Will and Riberio to Las Vegas where their luck takes a drastic change. Wayne Newton gets a ripe guest star slot. “There’s the Rub” mixes a heartwarming Thanksgiving story with Will getting busted at a massage parlor. “Boxing Helena” is a creatively strange title. Why would this show need to reference an obscure Jennifer Lynch film most noted for a lawsuit than it’s cinematic legacy? “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” dares to suggest Will’s rich relatives want a divorce. He’s got to bring them together else the season will end extra early. “Hare Today” praises Shaft. Richard Roundtree arrives as a reverend that Will distrusts. He thinks Shaft wants to hook up with a woman close to him. How could Shaft not make a play for the ladies? “I, Whoops, There It Is” is a blooper episode hosted by Dick Clark. Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford appear in “I, Stank Hole in One.” The final episode before the finale brings the massive star power of William Shatner in “Eye, Tooth.” Hard to say which star is better with Will: The Shatner or Urkel? Take your pick. “I, Done” wraps up the show. Everyone is heading East and Will doesn’t know what to do with his life. He never prepared for the future.
Will Smith’s future so far has been amazing. He’s made a fortune at the box office and garnered a few Oscar nominations. As the credits roll, nobody can accuse him of making a bad move by ending the show. Most of the cast has done fine over the years. Alfonso Riberio is now a fixture on the Game Show Network. James Avery found himself on That ‘70s Show. Karyn Parsons has a part in the upcoming Transformers movie. Joseph Marcell really was British and returned to The Eastenders. In the end the person most hurt by the ending of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was Jazzy Jeff. The rapper’s mixmaster was given the role of Jazz. The recurring character didn’t have to do too much just make sure that Will didn’t look like a cold blooded guy who dumped his creative partner when fame struck. Jazzy Jeff wasn’t exactly ready to be a DJ turned major thespian like The Wire‘s Idris Elba. He was OK as a sitcom character, but there was no way he’d make it under the directorial eye of Michael Mann. Jazzy Jeff’s final days as an actor are offered in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: The Complete Sixth Season.
“Burnin’ Down the House,” “Get a Job,” “Stress Related,” “Bourgie Sings the Blues,” “The Script Formerly Known As,” “Not, I Barbecue,” “Not With My Cousin You Don’t,” “Viva Lost Wages,” “ There’s the Rub” (two-parter), “I…Ooh, Baby, Baby,” “Boxing Helena,” “I, Clownius,” “Breaking Up is Hard To Do” (two-parter), “I, Bowl Buster,” “The Butler’s Son Did It,” “Hare Today..,” “I, Whoops, There It Is,” “I, Stank Horse,” “I, Stank Hole in One,” “Eye, Tooth” and “I. Done” (two-parter).
The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The show was shot on video. The transfer quality is fine. You’ll get enough details of Will Smith’s movie star looks. The audio is Dolby Digital mono. The mix is goes well for the rich insanity in the mansion. The episodes have English and French subtitles.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: The Complete Sixth Season wraps up the series on a fine note. Will Smith didn’t check out of the show early to focus his talents on movies. Having him meet up with Urkel makes this a historic DVD set.
Warner Home Video presents The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: The Complete Sixth Season. Starring: Will Smith, Alfonso Ribeiro, James Avery and Joseph Marcell. Boxset Contents: 24 episodes on 3 DVDs. Released on DVD: April 19, 2011.
Tags: Independence Day, Star Trek, Will Smith, William Shatner