“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” is an American sit com, which is targeted at everyone but mainly at teenagers. It has been popular for more then eighteen years. But why would teenagers watch such a TV programme that only teaches them to do something good. This is done in a different way, to do as you’re told, keep out of trouble and respect others. So how does it keep its success for over eighteen years? If “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” is just about being good, then why do teenagers still watch this programme? In my opinion I think that it’s the way the producers use media devices and the structure of the narrative that attracts teenagers rather a repels them.
In the beginning of the show we se Will spinning on a throne acting as if he’s a king which shows us that he is being the boss (as in a king) and in control everything around him. He is wearing a t-shirt which is a bit like a gangster and cool glasses and one of his legs are up on the throne making him look more of a gangster type then a king. He tells us the story of how his life “got twisted upside down” when he moved from West Philadelphia to Bel-Air. This appeals to a few audiences because even some teenagers want to either leave home forever or move to their aunty and uncle.
The techniques used in this scene are notan lighting which makes it quite normal because it’s not scary at all. This is important that it’s not scary because it’s a comedy show and if they put scary lighting it wouldn’t make sense. The camera is at the top and Will is at the bottom, on the floor spinning around on his throne, it’s quite a close up shot as well. There’s also graffiti in the background. This attracts the teenagers and makes them feel that they’re Will Smith and making them look at Will’s point of view, because you know that some teenagers want to be gangsters and want to take over something as being a king, and that’s what exactly happens in the first shot. I think that when the audience watches this first shot they will straight away feel that they’re on Will’s side because it’s a quite close up shot and it makes the audience feel that Will is talking straight to them.
This shot is related to the title of this page because in this scene Will is acting as a prince because Will is sitting on the throne, and plus on the title it says “The Fresh Prince…” which means he’s like a prince.
The second scene we see Will doing some graffiti on a wall when all of a sudden, a policeman appears. The policeman scolds Will. Will get a bit scared to see him. Will makes the fool out of the policeman by saying no I’m not graffitting it’s just a deodorant and gets away from trouble.
In this scene the media devices used are notan lighting and a close up shot only.
The second scene relates to the target audience because there are a few teenagers who think they can do graffiti and act cool by doing it, and also its one of a thing that some teenagers might want to try it out if they haven’t done it.
This scene takes place at the basketball court where Will and his friends are playing basketball. Will does some silly tricks while his friends are just pushing and shoving each other. Will shoots the ball but misses the basket and the ball bounces to some gangsters, who then gets angry and beat up Will.
The techniques used were notan lighting as usual, the camera angle is straight and close up when it’s at Will when he’s playing basketball. Then it’s a low angle shot looking up when it is at the gangsters because they’re big, strong and scary. Then the camera is overhead and Will and the gangsters are having a fight, which is shown as a bird’s eye view.
When Will is playing basketball he tries to do these cool moves and shoot the ball in the basket but misses which shows he’s not actually cool. Will also tries to be a gangster but when he faces the real gangsters he gets scared. This relates to the target audience because this shows how most teenagers act like, because some teenagers act really cool and talk in slang but when it comes to a challenge or something they get scared back away.
If you look close at Will’s friends, they are actually a bit stupid because when Will is just standing in one place and doing his tricks, his friends are like jumping about around him, pushing and shoving each other and putting their hands up to stop the ball, when Will isn’t doing anything.
Will’s mum and Will, both, is in his room where his mum is scolding him and pointing her finger at Will (but actually it seems she’s scolding at us because of the camera viewpoint). She is also saying something at Will that he’s going to moving with his aunty and uncle to Bel-Air.
There are a few techniques used in this scene like in-between of extreme shot and really close up shot, like right in the face. There’s also notan lighting as usual in all shots. When Wills mum is talking and pointing her finger at us, because her face is so close to the camera it exactly feels like that she is talking to the people who are watching it. When you look at Will’s mum when she’s scolding, and at the back the background is in graffiti, I think that Will’s mum is acting as a barrier between Will Smith and the bad things like graffiti, fights, and chaos. She doesn’t want Will to be getting in any trouble. Now Will is being stopped from doing bad things from his mum, but when he goes away to Bel-Air his mum won’t be there so he can do whatever he likes.
This scene takes place in where Will whistles for a cab; gets in and off he sets to Bel-Air. On the way he sees the Hollywood sign and other things and gets exited and starts taking photos. When he reaches his uncle and auntie’s house he yelled to the cab “yo home smell you later”, and then walks to the house. The media devises used are close up shots and as always notan lighting in every scene. The affect on the viewer is that if Will really is a cool and gangster type then why is he getting happy and excited just seeing the Hollywood sign from far away, because real gangsters would say like ya ya so its just Hollywood sign. In my opinion I think that Will is getting happy that he is going to his aunty and uncle who are rich and then says “yo home smell you later” that also suggests that he is happy to leave west Philadelphia and move to Bel-Air. This appeals to the target audience because some teenagers get bored at home or have a fight with their parents and feel like that they want to leave home and go somewhere else where they would be happier.
In conclusion I think that will smith is trying to be a gangster and fit in the west Philadelphia, but what we see is actually happening in the show. We see will trying to be a gangster by doing graffiti, playing basketball…but that’s not all, we also see Will doing as his mum says like when she said that he had to move to Bel-Air, he does as he’s mum tells him to do. If you really think about it there are quite subliminal messages in the opening sequence. So you see in one way Will tries to be a gangster and show off but in the other hand he also listens to his mother. So this shows that pupil can be gangster in school or outside, but also listen to their parents.