A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Fairly standard "everything ends well" sitcom messages: The preteen and teenage characters get themselves into sticky situations but correct their mistakes in the end. The importance of family is stressed. Themes include compassion and humility.
Positive Role Models
Positive overall, even though some behavior is exaggerated for comic effect. Some of the boys' jokes verge on offensive and sexist, but, when taken in context, aren't too bad.
Violence & Scariness
Occasional high school fights.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two of the characters are teenage boys who begin dating, so there's some talk of kissing and hitting on girls.
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Mild: "damn," "jackass," etc.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that two of the main characters of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air are teenage boys and that some of their jokes can border on offensive and sexist. But taken in context and with a grain of salt, they're nothing worse than what kids hear at school or on the playground.
Is It Any Good?
Parents can feel good about letting older tweens and young teens tune in to this sitcom. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air originally ran on NBC for six seasons in the mid-'90s and is now available on DVD and in syndication. Although there's some bawdy humor -- in the episode in which Will and Carlton start high school, for example, it's evident that their hormones have gone into overdrive, and they're not afraid to hit on every girl who walks by -- each episode leaves viewers with a powerful lesson on how to live life with dignity and grace. What's more, the Banks family is intact and portrayed positively.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.