This Groundbreaking CBS Show Is My Newest Obsession—Here’s Why You Should Watch
I’ll be honest: When I first watched Bob Hearts Abishola, I had low expectations.
I jumped right into the first season not knowing much about the show, except for the fact that one of my closest friends loved it and that Chuck Lorre, creator of the brilliant sitcom The Big Bang Theory, was a co-creator of the series. Although this knowledge was enough to pique my curiosity, I knew better than to get my hopes up. After all, I'd already gone through my fair share of overrated sitcoms. I was not going to make that mistake again.
So you can imagine my surprise when, just 10 minutes into the pilot, I was cackling non-stop. From the way that Dottie shrieked "BAHB!" to Abishola's bold and honest comebacks, this show already had me hooked. And now that the series has kicked off its second season, I'm fully prepared to watch it religiously (and gush about it to anyone who will listen).
Whether you loved The Big Bang Theory or not, I promise you, this TV show will feel like a much-needed breath of fresh air. See below for details about the CBS sitcom and why you should start watching.
1. It explores an unlikely romance
Set in Detroit, the series centers on Robert "Bob" Wheeler (Billy Gardell), a divorced man and sock company owner, who falls for his immigrant Nigerian nurse, Abishola (Folake Olowofoyeku). They first cross paths at the hospital, as Bob recovers from a heart attack. But when Bob gets discharged, he's not quite ready to move on from the attractive nurse.
Throughout the series, Bob is determined to win her heart, even despite her clear lack of interest and the fact that their backgrounds are vastly different. But in time, Bob's flirting attempts and sweet gestures cause Abishola to warm up to him.
What results is an exciting romance that you just can't help but root for. And though Abishola's straightforward, no-nonsense attitude is a sharp contrast to Bob's easy-going personality, their chemistry is basically unmatched.
2. It offers some insight into immigrant life in America
As someone who was raised by immigrant parents, I took a special interest in Abishola's family and culture. In the series, we learn that she's a hard-working, single mother with an estranged husband in Nigeria. The nurse and her son, Dele (Travis Wolfe Jr.), also live with Auntie Olu (Shola Adewusi) and Uncle Tunde (Barry Shabaka Henley) in a small apartment—the pair have a tendency to constantly meddle in Abishola's love life.
It's a narrative that feels all too familiar for immigrant families who are striving for success in the U.S. And according to Lorre, that was his goal when he created this show.
He told the Television Critics Association, "This show, on the surface, looks like a romantic comedy. But I've done that and I didn't want to do it again. It is our entrance point to the series, these two very different people meeting and finding, over a very slow process, a relationship. [But] the story I wanted to tell is about the greatness of first-generation immigrants…the hard work, the rigorous honesty that goes with coming here and grabbing hold of the American dream."
3. It's not afraid to address difficult topics
As much as I enjoy the humor on this show, one thing that really impresses me is how the writers approach relevant issues. For instance, in season one's "A Bird May Love a Fish," there's a scene that briefly addresses race and class. Abishola and her friend, Kemi (Gina Yashere), rank potential suitors by their ethnic backgrounds. And while African men make the top of their lists, African-American men are ranked last.
Gloria (Vernee Watson), their Black American friend, takes major offense to this and says, "You think white folks see a difference between us? To them, we all look the same. You get pulled over by a cop, he's not going to see your little ranking system. He's just going to see [the color of your skin]." But then Kemi confidently responds, "Africans don’t get pulled over because they observe all traffic laws."
While some issues are openly discussed on the show, others are merely hinted at (like the fact that Bob's immigrant factory workers are constantly working twice as hard as their white superiors). Still, this sitcom maintains its overall lightness and humor, never missing a beat when it comes to those epic punch lines.
If you need to catch up on season one, you can watch it on Amazon. Meanwhile, new episodes from season two will be airing every Monday on CBS at 8:30pm EST.
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