The appearance of Will’s father Lou in the Bel-Air Season 1 finale gave the show just the climax it needed.
Those who were hoping that Will Smith would guest star as Lou won’t be disappointed to see Marlon Wayan shepherding the role with the right amount of depth and slyness.
These two adjectives can also be used to describe how Bel-Air’s Lou differs from the version we see in Fresh Prince.
In Fresh Prince, Will’s father deliberately leaves him because he didn’t want to be tied down being a dad. In contrast, Lou in Bel-Air blames Vy, Viv, and Phil for deliberately keeping him away from Will.
I know you too raised an eyebrow when Gregory divulged a few too many details about Will to Lou. Will simply wanted information about his father without him knowing. But Gregory overstepping ultimately led to Lou re-entering Will’s life.
Lou tries to explain that he was falsely put into jail for “robbing” an elderly man and Phil didn’t even try to alleviate his sentence despite being his lawyer. Because of this, he spent 13 years in prison.
He slyly tries to gain Will’s sympathy by narrating how he would’ve loved to be present in his life, but as someone whose father died in jail, he didn’t want to inflict the same amount of grief on Will.
While parts of this can be true, it still doesn’t explain why he never even tried to contact Will after he got out.
Bel-Air’s Lou is starkly different from the one in Fresh Prince because in the original series, it was clearly established that Lou would never be capable of being a father.
Even after reconnecting with Will, he literally absconds with a petty excuse. This only brings Will and his father-figure uncle Phil closer.
But Lou’s backstory in Bel-Air leaves Will so confused that he doesn’t feel like he has anyone to trust or find solace in—neither his parents, nor his uncle, aunt, or cousins.
So the season ends with Will running away, and despite Jazz’s best attempts of a prep talk, we’re left wondering with what emotions he’d return to Bel-Air.
Another question to add to the mix: Why did Lou choose to return now? Is there something dubious about his intentions? All we can do is wait for the second season to find out.
Bel-Air is an American drama television series developed by Morgan Cooper, Malcolm Spellman, TJ Brady, and Rasheed Newson. It is a reimagined version of the 90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air . In March 2023, it was renewed for a third season.
The series stars Jabari Banks as Will Smith, with Adrian Holmes, Cassandra Freeman, Coco Jones, Olly Sholotan, Jimmy Akingbola, Akira Akbar, Jordan L Jones, and Simone Joy Jones.
The story follows Will Smith’s complicated journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated mansions of Bel-Air. It dives deep into racial tension, culture shock, and black excellence.