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'Bob Hearts Abishola': Chuck Lorre's latest sitcom premieres with rave reviews for Folake Olowofoyeku

The comedy, which counts British-Nigerian comedian Gina Yashere as EP and actor, has been praised for its depiction of Nigerian immigrants

Chuck Lorre has wasted no time in bringing out a new sitcom after the end of 'The Big Bang Theory'. 'Bob Hearts Abishola' credits Lorre as one of the executive producers along with Gina Yashere, Eddie Gorodetsky, and Alan Higgins. The sitcom follows Bob (Billy Gardell), a middle-aged sock salesman who attempts to woo Abishola (Folake Olowofoyeku), a Nigerian-immigrant nurse who treated him after his heart attack. With the show, Lorre aims to tell the story of immigrants, the struggle and hard work they do in order to make America their home.

Unsurprisingly, 'Bob Hearts Abishola' is doing well with viewers in its very first outing and many are taking to social media to let CBS know they will be tuning in every week. One user tweeted "#bobheartsabishola is the cutest thing on tv right now! I'm smiling from ear to ear. Great chemistry!", while another expressed gratitude at the depiction of immigrant life, the related issues and interracial dating on television. The show was also likened to Billy Gardell's 'Mike and Molly' by many, as one viewer said the show "feels a bit like mike and molly in premise but a different path". 

While many loved Billy Gardell on the new sitcom (prompted to watch it because of his work on 'Mike and Molly'), others were annoyed by his presence with one fan calling for the role of Bob to be recast. Folake Olowofoyeku, however, has been receiving rave reviews for her portrayal of Abishola -- a character much better received than Gardell's Bob. One user tweeted they liked the casting, especially Olowofoyeku, "who’s beautiful and has great comedic timing".

Gina Yashere and Folake Olowofoyeku as Kemi and Abishola on 'Bob Hearts Abishola'. Credits: CBS

Viewers especially liked the depiction of Abishola's family -- the first Nigerian family shown on American television -- saying that the accents used by the actors and the Nigerian culture shown felt authentic. This is in particular credited to Olowofoyeku and Yashere (who also acts on the show) who are of Nigerian origin, with Olowofoyeku having grown up in Nigeria. Many viewers are asking to see more of Yashere's Kemi and they are in luck as she was promoted to series regular a few days before the sitcom premiered. The show also depicts the cultural mistrust between African immigrants and African-Americans. This prompted one user to tweet that "I like that they showed the "diaspora wars" in progress. There's still a lot of healing that needs to be done between Africans and African-Americans".

What irked most viewers was the premise in which Bob continues to pursue Abishola even after she initially shows disinterest, going as far as bribing another nurse for Abishola's home address. One viewer tweeted "This show is not funny. The premise is a scary real-life prospect for thousands of women every day because men can’t understand the word no. But @cbs thinks it’s okay to teach men their revolting behavior is funny. #notfunny #BobHeartsAbishola". However, some viewers liked the sitcom in spite of Bob's stalker-y pursuit of Abishola.

Even though 'Bob Hearts Abishola' has been marketed as Chuck Lorre's new sitcom, many viewers say they will return for Gina Yashere's writing and character. One user agreed that while Lorre did not resort to the stereotypical slapstick comedy as he has done on his previous shows, the sitcom still had some racist and white privilege moments.