Carlton and Will sit on a couch and bump fists together
(Peacock)

It’s Summertime in ‘Bel-Air,’ and Season 3 Promises Pools, Parties, and Juicy Plotlines

This summer just got a lot hotter for fans of Bel-Air, the reimaging of the 1990s show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The popular series is slated to return for its third season very soon! Here’s everything we know about the cast, story, and release date so far.

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Bel-Air is a Peacock original that premiered on February 13, 2022. It stars Jabari Banks as Will, the role originated by series producer Will Smith. While the story remains the same—Will is a 16-year-old from West Philadelphia who is sent to live with wealthy relatives in California to escape gang violence—the new version is an hour-long drama, whereas the original series was a half-hour-long sitcom. Bel-Air tackles deeper subject matter than its predecessor, including drug addiction, social status, and cultural identity.

Who stars in Bel-Air?

In addition to Banks, the Peacock show features Cassandra Freeman as Will’s aunt Vivian Banks, Adrian Holmes as his uncle Phillip Banks, Jimmy Akingbola as house manager Geoffrey Thompson, Olly Sholotan as Will’s cousin Carlton Banks, Coco Jones as cousin Hilary Banks, and Akira Akbar as cousin Ashley Banks. Other characters include love interest Lisa Wilkes (Simone Joy), and Jazz (Jordan L. Jones), a taxi driver Will befriended when he landed at LAX. All of these characters are expected to return for season 3!

How did season 2 end again?

Season 2 premiered on February 23, 2023, which is eons in television time. Here’s a quick refresher on the second season, which ended with a few cliffhangers. In fact, all of the storylines are currently tangled beyond repair, so it’s a good thing they got renewed for a third season!

Season 2 saw Will dealing with the aftermath of discovering the truth about his father. He’s reeling from being lied to his whole life and wondering whom to trust when he meets Doc Hightower (Brooklyn McLinn). Hightower claims to be a basketball recruiter and AAU Coach but turns out to be a rather shady character who preys on the student athletes he claims to help.

Phil is also entangled with a coworker and accepts a lunch date that’s very much against his wife’s wishes. Vivian experiences a career-high, but it comes at a cost, Ashley explores her sexuality, Hilary flies to Paris with her ex-boyfriend, and Will and Lisa finally make up. Meanwhile, Carlton finally admits he has a drug problem, and his family wonders how they didn’t notice his addiction although it was right in front of their noses.

At the end of the season, Will asks Lisa what summer in Bel-Air is like. “Oh, you have no idea,” she replies. Well, kids … we’re about to find out!

Season 3 release date and plot details

This season’s showrunners promise to continue addressing cultural issues alongside the usual character-driven drama. This season will explore gentrification in the L.A. area, in particular. Executive producer and director Morgan Cooper told NBC Insider that setting the show during summer in So-Cal will add “a little more kick” to the season.

“The colors are more vibrant, the sound is elevated, the cinematography is more immersive,” he explained. “The vibe really sets the tone for Will’s first Bel-Air summer: three months to shine, explore, and make moves under the LA sun.”

Similarly, showrunner Carla Banks Waddles described season 3 as, “pools, beach parties, bonfires, fireworks, Juneteenth celebrations and lots of summer lovin’.”

The show’s official season 3 synopsis indicates that Will will further explore the gray area between the haves and the have-nots in the gated community he now calls home. He and Carlton form an unlikely bond as Carlton struggles to get clean, and Viv and Phil’s marital troubles continue to percolate. Hilary discovers something “shocking” about her boyfriend LaMarcus (Justin Michael Cornwell), Ashley gets her first girlfriend, and Geoffrey is forced to face his past.

The first three episodes of Bel-Air season 3 will premier on Peacock on August 15, 2024, and the rest will air weekly after that. This season will have ten episodes total.

Bel-Air season 3 sounds like a lot of fun mixed with a lot of serious issues to ponder! August 15 will be here before we know it, but there’s still time to catch up with the first two seasons of Bel-Air, currently streaming on Peacock.


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Beverly Jenkins
Beverly Jenkins (she/her) is a contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She writes about pop culture, entertainment, and web memes, and has published a book or a funny day-to-day desk calendar about web humor every year for a decade. When not writing, she's listening to audiobooks or watching streaming movies under a pile of her very loved (spoiled) pets.