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The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Season 4

4.5 out of 5 stars 130 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Aug 08, 2006)
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(Aug 08, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The: The Complete Fourth Season (DVD)

Charming and cocky Will continues his reign as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in the fourth fast-paced season of this hit family comedy with heart. Will (Will Smith) and Carlton (Alfonso Ribeiro) are living large at college - even though they live in their family's pool house. When they're not hunting the honeys, like the superhot Jackie (Tyra Banks), the boys pledge a fraternity, where Will finds out that racism cuts both ways. At home, Will sneaks the dieting Philip (James Avery) some snacks, not realizing he's endangering his uncle's life. And Ashley (Tatyana Ali) breaks out of her childhood shell in a big way by undergoing an extremely sexy makeover, exploring the dating world and demanding some "Respect" from her parents by belting out the classic song. Donald Trump, Hugh Hefner, Dick Clark, Ben Vereen (Roots), Robert Guillaume (Benson), Pam Grier (Jackie Brown), jazzman Branford Marsalis and Boys II Men guest star in this laugh-filled 26-episode season of the freshest show around.


The fourth season of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (which aired on television for six years) finds Will (Will Smith) and Carlton (Alfonso Ribeiro) as college freshmen trying to fit in on campus. Carlton's mom, Vivian, who was played by Janet Hubert-Whitten, is now portrayed by the attractive but not-as-funny Daphne Maxwell Reid. And supermodel Tyra Banks shows up as Will's latest girlfriend, Jackie. While not quite as strong as the series' first two years, this fourth season--which aired from 1993 to 1994--still packs plenty of laughs. Smith, who at the time was busily parlaying his TV success into a film career, had not yet become a huge movie star. His charm and likeability were more important at this time than his acting skills, but Smith's charisma is undeniable. Whether he's manipulating his indulgent uncle Philip (James Avery), bossing around his bumbling cousin Carlton, or basically pimping out his other cousin Hilary (Karyn Parsons) to a professor in order to get a good grade, Will comes across as a good boy who does stupid things. There is always a lesson learned and, just as often, a lesson forgotten. Though played for laughs, the series also deals with serious subject matters in an evenhanded way. After Philip is told to diet and exercise, Will thinks he's doing his uncle a favor by sneaking him fatty meals. When Philip has a heart attack, Will has to deal with the consequences of what he did. Did he give Philip the snacks to make his uncle happy, or because it made him feel good to go against authority? When Will is accepted into a snooty African-American fraternity that rejects Carlton, he learns what it's like to discriminate against your own people.

Some of the characters on The Fresh Prince by now have overstayed their welcome. Hilary has become a caricature of the spoiled and ineffectual rich girl. And as with many sitcoms based around their young stars, Philip and Vivian are superfluous add-ons now. But Carlton's baby sister Ashley (Tatyana Ali), who is growing into a lovely young woman, exhibits spunky exuberance as she tackles the rituals of dating and trying to show her parents she's not a little girl anymore. Ali also gets to show off her singing chops this season, tackling Aretha Franklin's "Respect." As for the show's celebrity guest stars (Donald Trump, Hugh Hefner), it's Smith's former rapping partner DJ Jazzy Jeff who makes the most refreshing appearance as (what else?) Will's buddy from back in the day. --Jae-Ha Kim

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: William Smith, James Avery, Daphne Maxwell Reid, Alfonso Ribeiro, Karyn Parsons
  • Producers: Quincy Jones, Gary H. Miller
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 8, 2006
  • Run Time: 584 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FL7C8W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,335 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Season 4" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By P. Burgos on May 24, 2006
Format: DVD
Season 4 had some major changes to the show. First off, Vivian is played by Daphne Maxwell-Reid (Tim Reid's Wife) and also Little Nicky Banks comes into the picture, at least it gives this show the best last 3 seasons of the show. Here are the episodes to expect in the 4th season.

74. Where There's a Will, There's a Way (Part 1 of 2)
College-bound Will and Carlton settle into their new L.A. party pad, to which Carlton brings the woman of his dreams -- Jackie. Unfortunately, it is also soon overrun with partygoers.

75. Where There's a Will, There's a Way (Part 2 of 2)
Will brings Carlton shocking news that Jackie is an old friend of his from Philly; the two guys get evicted from their apartment; and Hilary asks for a "special" proposal from Trevor -- and gets it.

76. All Guts, No Glory
Registration day finds Will signing up for no-brainer classes, plus one that might truly challenge him -- a philosophy course he takes to meet a girl.

77. Father of the Year
Stuck with caring for Nicky for the day, Will soon discovers the benefits of baby-sitting: he's suddenly a big man on campus with the women so long as he poses as a single dad.

78. It's Better to Have Loved and Lost It...
After Will's friends guys rib Carlton about being a virgin, Miss Right (Belcon) appears and sweeps Carlton off his feet. Elsewhere, Geoffrey confesses a secret of his own.

79. Will Goes a-Courtin'
When Phillip sues Will and Carlton for unpaid rent, two different versions of the dispute are aired -- neither entirely truthful.

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Format: DVD
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Fourth Season

The fourth season of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" isn't the best season but it still had a lot of funny episodes. The first two episodes are probably the funniest, especially the second one where Hilary's fiancé Trevor hurts himself bungee-jumping on TV. Philip then says, "Let's just hope Trevor's okay." Cut to the next scene, everyone's in black and Philip says, "Well, it was a lovely service."

The problem with this season was the new Vivian. Daphne Maxwell-Reid is a good actress but it's hard to top Janet Hubert-Whitten's version. Janet made Vivian feisty and a take-no-mess type while Daphne's sterile version made it hard to watch (the writers must have known that too, maybe that's why Daphne wasn't in that many episodes). The good news with that is that the focus shifts from Vivian and onto the other characters, which in turn makes them stronger (see Will in "Papa's Got a Brand New Excuse" - my favorite episode).

The problem with the DVD set is that it looks rushed. Even the menu appears half-hearted compared to previous "Fresh Prince" sets. Also, there are no special features at all - but I guess that's not a big loss because all I usually watch are the episodes and the special features in previous sets weren't all that special, as someone mentioned earlier.

This season shows that the show wasn't on its death bed just yet. That would happen during the last season. -EJR
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Format: DVD
First, my two complaints about this DVD collection. 1) Daphne Maxwell Reid is not half the Vivian that her predecessor was. In fact, I find that the new Vivian gets on my nerves. She is not the same character as she was in the past. They may as well have written in a divorce and re-marriage or something! 2) This season has no special features. I guess this isn't the worst thing, since the first three seasons' "special features" were not so special in the first place!

Having gotten those two things out of the way, this season gives us as many laughs as previous seasons, and even has some extremely serious moments to boot. Will and Carlton face new challenges and adventures as college freshmen. Hilary mourns the tragic death of her fiancé Trevor. Ashley continues to embrace young adulthood, even if the rest of the family is unwilling to allow her to grow up. There is wonderful on-screen chemistry/tension between Will and Jackie (played by Tyra Banks). Other special appearances are made by Robert Guillaume, Hugh Hefner, Donald Trump, and Boyz II Men.

Here are some of season 4's highlights:

All Guts, No Glory: Will faces the challenge of sticking with a class that forces him to try.

Father of the Year: Will receives extra attention from the ladies when they believe he is a single dad.

Blood is Thicker Than Mud: Will and Carlton attempt to work their way into a college fraternity. Unfortunately, Carlton is not seen as "black enough."

Home is Where the Heart Attack is: Philip promises to try to lose weight, but Will sneaks him burgers to satisfy his cravings. A heart attack results.

`Twas the Night Before Christening: Philip explains to little Nicky how he received 4 middle names at his christening.
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Format: DVD
"The Fresh Prince" was a great show during its first three seasons. The fourth season was good, and still pretty funny, but true Fresh Prince fans know that this was when the show started its swan song. First of all, the real Aunt Viv was gone, replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid. The Vivian Banks character was useless from that point to the end of the series. Next was the addition of the new child, Nicky, which only brought the morale of the series down even more. Like "Fresh Prince" really needed another kid. The Nicky character was useless as well. Will and Carlton are pretty much the same, Ashley (she can sing!) finally shows some depth, and Uncle Phil shines, becoming, in a sense, the true heart and soul of the show. The fourth season really offers very few classic Fresh Prince episodes, but there is still some good entertainment here, and a few memorable moments: Carlton experiencing heartbreak from his first lover, Uncle Phil taking Will and Carlton to court, Will attempt to book Boyz II Men to perform at Nicky's christening, one of Uncle Phil's old flames honing in on Will, and the return of Will's father, who talks a big game but ends up leaving Will in heartbreak, leading to one of the most heartfelt scenes in the show's history (Will's teary testimony to Uncle Phil still gives me chills). So, this season is not without its moments, but the best days of "The Fresh Prince" are clearly behind it.

And by the way, the final two seasons of this show need to be released. It has been over a year since this DVD set was released and nothing new has come from "The Fresh Prince". It is stupid that this show has been put on ice while worse shows have seen full-series runs. Give the people what they want.
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