Will Smith and James Avery in 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' (1990). Photo: IMDb

Will Smith is getting the Banks family back together for a 'Fresh Prince' reunion

It’s a depressing and very real possibility it won’t be safe to gather with your loved ones this Thanksgiving. But thanks to a just-announced The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion special, due on HBO Max around turkey time, at least we’ll all be able to spend some quality time with the (real and fictional) Smith family. The “unscripted special” is celebrating the beloved sitcom’s 30th anniversary.

According to Deadline, Will Smith and his fictional family and friends — played by Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Joseph Marcell, Daphne Maxwell Reid, Alfonso Ribeiro, and DJ Jazzy Jeff — will reunite to tape the special on September 10. It’s being framed as a look back at the series, which famously starred Smith as a fictionalized version of himself who relocated from West Philadelphia to Bel Air to live with his wealthy extended family. The special will also feature music! Dancing! And surprise guests!

It’s worth noting, the reunion special is different from another Fresh Prince of Bel-Air news item that made headlines recently. Previously, we learned that Will and Jada Pinkett Smith signed on to produce an hour-long dramatic take on the series, Bel-Air, based on a viral fan film by Morgan Cooper. That project will eventually debut on streaming.

The Fresh Prince reunion is undeniably a highlight to look forward to as American culture enters a tenuous fall. A similar reunion with the cast of Friends, also slated for HBO Max, was delayed by covid-19 complications. On the flipside, the cast of The West Wing reunited just last week to do a socially-distanced table read, as part of a special aimed to get out the vote.