'Bob Hearts Abishola' Season 1 Episode 2: Abishola's aunt and uncle steal the show even from their support roles
Barry Shabaka Henley and Shola Adewusi shine as Uncle Tunde and Aunt Olu as they try to overtake Bob's courtship of Abishola
Chuck Lorre's new comedy, 'Bob Hearts Abishola' premiered last week and was praised for dealing with some difficult subjects and for the performance of its lead actress, Folake Olowofoyeku. The show's premise is Bob, a middle-aged sock businessman who had a heart attack, falling for Abishola, a Nigerian-immigrant nurse and single mother. The show counts Gina Yashere - a British-Nigerian comedian - as one of its creators. Olowofoyeku is also from Nigeria and grew up there.
The freshman comedy's second episode aired on September 30 night with a stronger episode. This time, Bob is leaving Abishola by seeing her disinterest, but Abishola's aunt and uncle have their own plans. First, they follow Bob to ascertain whether he is good enough for Abishola, but most importantly, whether he is good enough for them. They wait for him in their van at the parking lot of his office, judging Bob's car and that he's a smart businessman (because his employees' cars are not as good as his). As Aunt Olu says, "this will be a fine marriage for my niece", Uncle Tunde adds, "for all of us" and Olu agrees, saying "we're a package deal."
Bob notices them following him and though they try to get away, Bob follows them to their flat to learn what they are up to. Abishola's aunt and uncle try to negotiate with Bob, treating the currently non-existent relationship as a transaction and when Abishola agrees to meet Bob for tea, Aunt Olu is delighted. Uncle Tunde and Aunt Olu decide Bob's home will be perfect for them and they discuss their plans for Bob's yard before the episode ends.
For certain, brown and black people certainly identify with having an Uncle Tunde and an Aunt Olu in their lives. The actors who portray the characters, Barry Shabaka Henley and Shola Adewusi certainly steal the spotlight and are easily the best part of the episode. Shola Adewusi as Aunty Olu shines brighter than the other actors on screen.
Of course, one thing still needs to be considered. Is the show making caricatures of Abishola's Nigerian-immigrant family for the sake of laughs? Immigrants already deal with many stereotypes and they certainly do not need this show to pile on to them. It's one thing writing these characters keeping representation in mind, but it's a completely different ballpark if these scenes are written with a white audience in the writers' minds.
'Bob Hearts Abishola' airs on Monday nights on CBS.