Thursday, August 10, 2006

Will the real Aunt Viv please stand up?

If you are looking for some serious discussion, check out my last entry, "The Good News" and get in on the exchange "Outside the Box" and I are having about Christianity. If you are looking for a little levity, read on...

As mentioned in an earlier blog, we have a new little boy at our house. This means getting up at least once in the "wee" hours to feed the little guy. We are blessed that he sleeps really well already and most times has to be stirred so we can give him a bottle. As mama is with both kids all day while I am at work, I have taken responsibility for doing this every night, which brings me to the subject of this post.

In order to stay awake, I usually turn on the TV and do some channel surfing. Of course, at 3am the only thing to watch is lots of infomercials. There is however an oasis in the midst of the desert; you can find an episode of Fresh Prince of Bel Air on at least one channel at any time of night. I love this show, and as it had it's heyday around the time I was in High School it brings back lots of memories.

Most of the characters are great and the show would not be the same without Will, Alfonso (who doesn't know how to do the "Carlton"?), and "Uncle Phil", AKA James Avery. Although the show ran for 6 years starting in 1990, I really don't remember not laughing out loud during an episode. I think they quit while they were still ahead creatively. The only problem I have with the show is when they changed the character of Aunt Vivian.

The first "Aunt Viv", Janet Hubert-Whitten (pictured, 1990-1993) was perfect for the role and I thought added alot to the dynamic of the show. Anybody remember when everybody was holiday shopping and Aunt Viv got suckered into making a record in one of those mall booths? She did "Proud Mary" some justice! I will admit, I had a big ol' teenage crush on Aunt Viv in the episode where she decided to return to her love of dance and enrolled in ballet classes (she was the "hot" Aunt Viv in that one). Aside from all that she added to the show, she was the "OG" Aunt Viv and as far as I am concerned, the ONLY one!

Apparently, Janet had some differences with cast members and decided to leave the show, while still pregnant no less. The nature of the disagreement is unknown to me but it's impact on my viewing enjoyment continues to this day, because it ushered in the era of the "Wack Aunt Viv", Daphne Reid (1993-1996).

They could not have chosen a more different person to play the character! She looks completely different physically (height, body type, even color), and her attitude sucks! She is the Aunt Viv who nags too much and stands with her arms crossed dissapprovingly 85% of the time. I always feel sorry for Uncle Phil when this Aunt Viv is on the scene. If I were him, they would have had an episode where Aunt Viv gets mysteriously found in the trunk of her Benz at the bottom of a lake or something. Picture Lame Aunt Viv standing in a music booth at the mall singing a Tina Turner song, never happen! Or how about sporting a leotard taking some dance lessons? I shudder at the thought! Would Wannabe Aunt Viv teach a class on African American History at Will and Carlton's prep school and teach Will a thing or two about the REAL Malcolm X? Not even close!

So, at 3 in the morning, picture me turning to one of a few channels and selecting one of several episodes of "Fresh Prince" hoping against all hope that the REAL Aunt Viv is representing.

1. Do you have an "Aunt Viv" preference? If so, why?

2. Favorite Fresh Prince episode?

3. Favorite character?

4. Know any good trivia about the show, or the actors?


Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

08 10 06

Bullfrog: Although I do like Daphne Maxwell Reid, Ms. Janet was made for the part of Aunt Viv.Daphne couldn't come close.

bold as love said...

Mr. Bullfrog,
I'm sorry, I can't discuss Aunt Viv with you- I was, and still am, too caught up on Karyn Parsons, you know the lovely goddess that play Hilary. Man, my heart quickens thinking about her. Check out her role in Major Payne- Iam still in love with her- I need therapy.

Bullfrog said...

@bold: Major Payne was hilarious! "Killin' is my business people, and business is goood!"

Mr. Grey Ghost said...

Nice post and as a "Fresh Prince" fan I can definitely agree with you. Janet Huber was MADE for that role and Daphne Reid was a HUGE disappointment, better yet, Daphne Reid just couldnt act. I always wondered whatever happened to Janet Huber, guess she was pretty bad behind the scenes because I havent seen her on anything since.

My favorite Fresh Prince episode would have to be the one where (I think it was) Ben Vereen came on as Will's absent dad. That episode really hit me and it was the first time I actually felt that Will Smith could act--he was great in it.

Bullfrog said...

@GG: I was just talking to Mrs. Bullfrog about that same episode. I won't lie, it gets to me when his pops leaves him and he breaks down, great acting for sure.

Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Okay this is really weird. I've watched re-runs of this show ALL the time and I never noticed that there were 2 different Aunt Vivians. How is that possible??? I'm still in shock!!

Little Miss Chatterbox said...

I remember watching TV late at night while feeding babies. I would've never watched the Golden Girls if it hadn't been the only thing on.

Angela said...

My son watches re-runs of The Fresh Prince and he is only 12! He loves it! I didn't like when they changed Aunt Viv either but I kept watching.

Anonymous said...

Very cool design! Useful information. Go on! » »