A dramatic update of The Fresh Prince, Bel-Air’s strong streaming numbers have won the Philly-set series a second season
A contemporary reimagining of the hit 90s sitcom, Bel-Air trades the original series’ humorous tone for a dramatic one, focusing more closely on themes of race, inequality and personal determination. Pulling in the biggest viewing figures of any original show on its host service Peacock, the first season of Bel-Air won over millions of fans, justified its retelling and set itself up nicely for a hit second season. Read on for all the info you’ll need to know to watch Bel-Air season 2.
The first three episodes of Bel-Air season 2 will be available to US fans from 23 February, with a further seven instalments releasing weekly thereafter. As noted above, the show is available on NBCUniversal’s streaming platform, Peacock, alongside a host of other great content.
Though Peacock is not available in the UK as a standalone service just yet, British viewers can gain access to the streaming platform at no extra charge via Sky TV or NOW Entertainment packages. While there’s no confirmation as to whether it will reach the UK on the same date, there’s plenty of great movies and TV available on both networks to keep you occupied in the meantime.
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What is Bel-Air about?
As with The Fresh Prince, Bel-Air follows 16-year old Will Smith as he moves from the mean streets of West Philadelphia to the upper-crust society and gated mansions of Bel-Air, California. The first season of the show saw Will struggle to fit in at Bel-Air academy, form rocky but definite bonds with his Uncle Phil and cousin Carlton and deal with the dramatic return of his absent father, Lou. Torn between the responsibilities of his new life and the loose ends of his past, the second season will see Will attempt to forge his own path.
Bel-Air originally came to fruition after creator Morgan Cooper uploaded a fan film of the same name to YouTube, which acted as a mock trailer for a serious reboot of The Fresh Prince. After being seen by Will Smith himself, the short was developed into a full series, with Smith serving as an executive producer. Bel-Air stars Jabari Banks as Will, Cassandra Freeman (Inside Man) as Vivian, Adrian Holmes (19-2) as Philip, Jimmy Akingbola (Holby City, Ted Lasso) as Thompson and Olly Sholotan as Carlton.
How to watch Bel-Air season 2 in the UK: Sky and NOW
While the service isn’t fully launched here as of yet, UK fans can stream Bel-Air and other Peacock shows and movies at no extra cost as part of their Sky TV subscription. TV deals currently start at £24/mth, with the most basic package including channels like Sky Atlantic, Comedy Central and National Geographic, as well as a free Netflix subscription. Higher-tier packages from Sky include brilliant extras like Paramount Plus, movie channels and all the sports content you could ask for.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to sign up for a whole TV package, you can also access Peacock content like Bel-Air on Sky’s sister streaming service NOW. A NOW Entertainment Membership costs just £9.99/mth and allows you to stream hit shows like The Last of Us, The White Lotus, House of the Dragon, Succession, Yellowjackets, Avenue 5 and more.
How to watch Bel-Air season 2 in the US: Peacock
The first three episodes of Bel-Air season 2 will hit US streaming service Peacock on 23 February, with the rest of the ten-episode series releasing week by week thereafter. While Peacock has a free tier, this option comes with ads, as well as a much more limited library of content. To get the full Peacock library ad-free, you can sign up for just $4.99/mth or $49.99/yr.
As well as Bel-Air, Peacock subscribers can stream an excellent range of movies, documentaries and TV series, including The Undeclared War, The Office, A.P. Bio, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation and Beast (2022). Also hitting the service this year is Knives Out and Glass Onion director Rian Johnson’s new show, Poker Face, which is led by Orange is the New Black and Russian Doll star Natasha Lyonne.
How to watch Bel-Air season 2 from anywhere in the world: Use a quality VPN service
If you’re likely to be outside the US or UK during Bel-Air’s release period, you may find your access to Peacock and other sites blocked due to geographic restrictions. A handy general solution for geoblocking annoyances is to employ the services of a quality VPN service.
A VPN – which stands for Virtual Private Network – is an increasingly popular piece of privacy software which allows you to surf the web securely and anonymously. While they have a number of interesting features, one of the best facets of VPNs is their “location spoofing” abilities. This involves bouncing your traffic through different servers around the world to help make your browsing more private and secure.
If you want to learn about VPNs in a little more depth, you can read our full What is a VPN? guide. And, for a more extensive list of VPN options, be sure to have a look over our Best VPN roundup. However, if you just want to hear about the cream of the crop, scroll down to read mini-reviews of our two favourite VPNs just below.
Our favourite VPN for streaming, ExpressVPN impressed us from the off, picking up five stars and our Best Buy award in our original ExpressVPN review. In it, we praised the service for its reliable spoofing, rock-solid security credentials and its nippy streaming speeds – deftly handling multiple 4K videos from US servers at once in testing. ExpressVPN also offers well laid-out and fully-featured Android and PC clients, 24/7 customer support, a month-long money back guarantee and, excitingly for Expert Reviews readers, three free months for users who sign up using the link below.
A jack – and master – of all trades, NordVPN is our favourite VPN service overall, as per our Best VPN round-up. Our original NordVPN review also awarded the VPN five stars and our Best Buy award, praising it on multiple fronts. NordVPN has great security, operating an audited no-logs policy, top tier streaming and download speeds, as well as an excellent and reliable range of servers for spoofing – with over 5,500 options spread across 60 countries. Nord also offers customer support day and night, a 30-day money back guarantee and very reasonable pricing on its longer-term plans and packages.