The first time I saw Janet Hubert as Vivian Banks in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air at the age of 12, I was captivated. She carried an air of confidence and dressed in a way that was almost regal, with ornate jewelry and fabulous shoes to match. Her elegant updos looked flawless enough to be featured on the cover of a magazine, and her smile could light up a room. But best of all, she had glowing ebony skin—something that I, as a child, rarely ever saw on screen during the ‘90s.
Now, this isn’t to say that there was a shortage of great TV aunties at the time. After all, we had role models like Aunt Rachel—the sarcasm queen—from Family Matters, the kind and optimistic Aunt Becky from Full House and, of course, Roseanne’s Aunt Jackie, a super-chill aunt the kids could confide in. But while each had their own charm and garnered plenty of laughs, they didn’t hold a candle to the incomparable Aunt Viv. (Or shall I say, Aunt Viv 1.0?) OG Aunt Viv was, is and always will be the best fictional auntie of all time.