In the first episode of the second season of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, we can see an almost completely redesigned set compared to the first season.

S01E01 - The Fresh Prince Project (1990) Still from S01E01 - The Fresh Prince Project (1990) Still from episode

S02E01 - Did The Earth Move For You? (1991) Still from S02E01 - Did The Earth Move For You? (1991) Still from episode

Father Phillip Banks (actor James Avery) even mentions the changes during the episode and speaks out to Vivian Banks (actress Janet Hubert-Whitten).

Vivian Banks: [walking downstairs] I'm Ready.
Phillip Banks: Ah, finally. What took you so long?
Vivian Banks: Oh I just spent an hour chasing my outfit on the new rotating dressrack.
Phillip Banks: Why didn't you set the variable speed adjustment?
Vivian Banks: Phillip, these gadgets are making my life miserable.
Phillip Banks: Well honey, you're the one who said we should redecorate.
Vivian Banks: Well yeah! I said we should keep up with the Joneses, honey, not the Jetsons!

IMDb Quotes, Did The Earth Move For You? (1991)

They mention that it was done to keep up with their neighbours, but was there any productional reason (e.g. better camera angles, more light) for this change in set? Did the producers give any reason for these changes?

  • 5
    Probably a bigger budget after the success of season 1 was the reason. I have no source, this is just my guess based on logic. – TK-421 Aug 13 at 6:51
  • 2
    Do you know that the 2 rooms shown are intended to be the same? Both of those rooms could exist in a house like that; they could have simply started hanging out in the other room more. – GendoIkari Aug 13 at 14:53
  • @GendoIkari Of course I do, because that's why I am asking this question. Though it doesn't make sense that both rooms could still be in the same building, since the architectural layout does not match the movement of the characters. – Roy Aug 13 at 15:49
  • just in case there is confusion, they aren't keeping up with specific neighbours named Jones, but "keeping up with the Joneses" is a saying meaning comparing yourself with others in your social class etc. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keeping_up_with_the_Joneses – NiceOrc Aug 14 at 0:15

For me the reason is that the original set was not grand enough to clearly delineate the vast changes in Will's life, from poor to extreme wealth.

  • 8
    do you have any references to back that up? That is one good interpretation, but how do we know that was the reason? – Luciano Aug 13 at 11:10
  • I don't have any references and I do not know if this is the real reason behind such a change; this is just my view based on the theme of the show and the changes from season 1 to season 2. The first season decor may have been better than what we would expect to see in the projects but it was a far cry from the decor that would be expected for a wealthy family in that suburb. – Walkerbo Aug 14 at 12:38

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