The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Twas the Night Before Christening

I did a double take at the beginning of this episode because it begins with a flash forward to the Christmas of 1998 and I was like wait what year is it???? Anyway, little Nicky is asking Phil to tell him a bedtime story about his four middle names…and now we go back to Christmas Eve 1993.

Carlton is so into the holiday spirit that he had jingle bells sewn into his pants cuffs. It’s extra but it’s cute.

Evidently, the whole family has bought really lovely, expensive gifts for Nicky’s christening. But Will has purchased a hand puppet.

Realizing his gift is crap, Will becomes inspired when he discovers that Nicky really likes listening to Ashley’s Boyz II Men CD. So he tells everyone that he got Nicky a private concert with Boyz II Men. (He claims that he knows them from Philly…which of course…he does not.)

And then we get to see Boyz II Men ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

As you can see in the video clip, Will sneaks into their recording session. But as it sort of turns out…he does kind of know them…he stole Nate Morris’s girlfriend back in Philly. So yeah. Boyz II Men isn’t going to do Will any favors.

When Will’s mom arrives for the christening, Will tries to ask for her help. But she’s so excited about Boyz II Men that he can’t bring himself to tell her the truth.

So Will tries again. He dresses up in Carlton’s Santa suit and heads back down to the recording studio. He announces that he received a Christmas wish from a boy who wants them to sing at a christening. And somehow. It works! Until he accidentally catches his beard on the audio board, and reveals that he’s the guy who took Nate’s girl.

As Will begins to confess his lie to the whole entire family at the christening, Boyz II Men shows up!

And that is how Nicky got four middle names! He’s named after every member of Boyz II Men!

Very Special Holiday Lesson: Honestly the saddest thing is that Boyz II Men had to work in California on Christmas Eve and they couldn’t be with their families. Work-life balance is so important! Luckily, Will did promise them a really nice reception after the christening. And at least they got to spend Christmas with the Banks family. And I love them sooo much! Every time they sing I get a tear in my eye! Merry Christmas Eve, Very Special Readers!

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Fresh Prince, The Movie

After my dissertation on Murder, She Wrote yesterday, I am truly aiming for a shorter post today. Thankfully, “Fresh Prince. The Movie” is a twenty-three minute episode and not, in fact, a movie.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" Fresh Prince: The Movie (TV Episode 1994) -  IMDb

Over a game of poker, Will tells his friend Jazz that he recently spent time in Alabama as part of the witness protection program because he a mob hit while working in a Philly restaurant. There’s a whole lot in that sentence, so I’ll pause while you take that in.

Will narrowly escaped death himself, but luckily a postal worker arrived and interrupted the hitman. Postal workers — heroes in 2020 — heroes in this one 1994 episode of Fresh Prince. Bizarro episodes are truly timeless.

After Will identifies the hitman in a lineup, the hitman is somehow left alone to fix his hair in the two-way mirror. Will decides to taunt him only to have the hitman punch through the glass and attack him. A guard shows up and saves Will in the knick of time. But the hitman escapes, leaving Will in danger.

The feds send Will to Deliverance, Alabama where he lives in a trailer park and goes by the name “Floyd Palmer.” Will doesn’t love the idea of living in a small unincorporated area. He wants to know where the closest club is. The federal agent tells him, “The closest town is Hatred, Mississippi. I can check if there’s dancing.” Things don’t sound too promising.

Fresh Prince, The Movie - YouTube

That night a shadowy figure hovers over Will as he sleeps. (Meanwhile in the present day, Jazz is so enthralled with the story that he folds on a full house while Carlton wins with a seven high.) Will reveals that the shadowy figure is Uncle Phil! He and the family must assume new identities in Deliverance because they were also being targeted by the hitman — who is still trying to track down Will.

They’re all mad at Will for agreeing to testify against a murderer and ruining their Bel-Air lives. But eventually Uncle Phil comes around and tells Will that he did the right thing. The mood is better for a moment until Uncle Phil remembers he has to start working at the manure plant the next morning.

Will then describes how the hitman searched their vacant house in Bel-Air and found a letter from Hillary to Neiman Marcus asking that they forward her catalog to Deliverance. It’s unclear why this letter is still at the house and not in the mail, but oh well just roll with it.

Wait is this the brother from Everybody Loves Raymond?

With murder literally in his eyes, the hitman heads to Alabama. (In the present day, Jazz needs to go home. But Will and Carlton convince him to stay and keep playing poker because the next part of the story involved an encounter with a bear!) As it turns out the bear is a pet that belongs to another trailer park resident. The bear’s owner, Bertha, takes a liking to Will.

She then accuses him of getting her pregnant and her entire family shows up with shotguns, ready to kill Will This episode suddenly has some really bad To Kill a Mockingbird vibes. As it turns out it’s just a shotgun wedding and not an actual attempt to murder him.

Will persuades Bertha’s father, Hatfield McCoy, to wait until Will’s mother can get to Alabama for the wedding because he wouldn’t feel right getting married without her there. Hatfield is very understanding of this and supports postponing the wedding. Bertha then shows Will a photo she has of him that she will cherish until they can truly be together.

But wait, how did Bertha get a picture of Will?? Turns out it’s a copy of his high school graduation photo. The hitman has posted it around town in the hopes of locating Will. This is where Hatfield and his love of family really comes in handy. The shotgun gang agrees to protect Will and the Banks family.

When he shows up at the trailer park, Will confronts the hitman and says he isn’t afraid because he has “FAMILY.” That’s suppose to be the trigger word for his shotgun gang to jump out and help him. But they’re all passed out from moonshine.

At this point in the poker game Jazz runs out of cash, so Will and Carlton come clean and admit that they made up the whole story to distract Jazz — who is usually a much, much better poker player than they are. Later that night, Will wakes up at 3 am to someone banging on his door. It’s the hitman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just kidding, it’s Jazz with a mask that looks identical to the hitman Will made up in his mind. But honestly, that’s way way way scarier if you ask me.

Very Special Bizzaro Lesson: Lying to your friends makes them retroactively clairvoyant, which is scary as shit. I would just need to be sedated forever if I was awakened at 3 am by a physical manifestation of a spooky fantasy.