• There’s Lots to ♥ in Bob ♥ Abishola

    by  • September 13, 2019 • CBS, Paleyfest • 0 Comments

    Bob Abishola

    This immigrant-based sitcom presents a surprisingly gentle slice of life.

    When businessman Bob is hospitalized with a near-fatal heart attack, he awakens to the sight of Abishola, his Nigerian immigrant nurse. Charmed and impressed by Abishola’s kindness and humor, Bob begins courting her – to the surprise of his own family, and the amazement and distrust of Abishola’s. Will Bob’s determination overcome the suspicion of their families…and Abishola’s own doubts?

    The first episode of Bob ♥ Abishola contained some literal toilet humor, as nurse Abishola helps the hospitalized Bob use the restroom. (However, these are unlikely to recur in the series.) There were also multiple uses of words like “ass,” “bitch,” and “dick.”

    For decades, producer Chuck Lorre has been responsible for some of CBS’ biggest comedy hits: Two and a Half Men, Mike and Molly, Mom, The Big Bang Theory, and Young Sheldon. Many of these programs have contained large amounts of crude sexual content; Mike and Molly and Mom were replete with it, and Two and a Half Men was practically nothing but crass sex jokes.  But in recent years, Lorre has toned down the less classy elements. The Big Bang Theory, though containing some sex humor, became more character-focused; and its prequel series Young Sheldon is very clean. And with Bob ♥Abishola, Lorre seems to have moved fully to a different style of storytelling, focused much more on character interaction than crude jokes. At a Paley Center panel, Lorre and his fellow producers strongly emphasized their desire to be respectful toward the characters and concept; and, as Nigerian comedian Gina Yashere is also a producer, it is likely there will be little of Lorre’s formerly trademark crude humor.

    Bob  ♥ Abishola is a delightful program, about two extremely different people, from radically different places and walks of life, coming together, learning about each other, and falling in love. It’s also rare for a TV comedy to focus on middle-aged people (Bob is explicitly stated to be in his 50s), particularly on them finding love later in life. And, of course, the differences between an American and a Nigerian also provide interest and challenges. At a time when so much of TV “comedy” revolves around conflict within families and between people who are different, it is refreshing and a positive joy to find a program that provides a gentle lesson in how people with differences can learn to get along, and even to love.

    Bob ♥Abishola premieres Monday, September 23 at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS.

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    About

    Christopher Gildemeister is the PTC’s Head of Research Operations. He began as an Entertainment Analyst at the PTC in 2005. From 2007-2016, he was Senior Writer/Editor, responsible for communicating the PTC’s message to the public through newsletters, columns, and the PTC Watchdog blog. Dr. Gildemeister holds a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America.

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