Monday, October 7, 2019

REVIEW: 'Bob Hearts Abishola' - Abishola Doesn't Have the Privacy to Define Her Personal Relationship in 'A Bird May Love a Fish'

CBS' Bob Hearts Abishola - Episode 1.03 "A Bird May Love a Fish"

Bob attempts to learn more about Nigerian customs while Abishola has to contend with gossip spreading about her relationship with Bob.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of CBS' Bob Hearts Abishola.

"A Bird May Love a Fish" was written by Chuck Lorre, Al Higgins & Gina Yashere and directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller

Abishola doesn't know how to define her relationship with Bob. Instead of being given the privacy to explore what this dynamic means and what she is comfortable with though, everyone is pressuring her to make a major commitment. There is no time to waste having fun. She should just commit to Bob completely because he can absolutely provide her family with everything that they want in this world. Plus, Abishola would no longer have to deal with the shame of not being a married women. All of this hasn't been a priority for her though. She has strong opinions about her former husband. She hasn't seen him in years and doesn't think too much about how he'll react to any news about her life. She figures he has a new family to obsess over back in Nigeria. And yet, people are desperate for clarity. It stings when Dele asks his mother if all the rumors are true about her marrying Bob. To her, that's such a silly suggestion. For him though, it's potentially a huge change to his life as a result of something he doesn't quite understand. The family may like Bob overall but they don't really know him. Abishola has only committed to a couple of tea dates with him. It's clear that he is putting in the effort to try to impress her. He wants to better understand Nigerian culture. He wants to speak Yoruba. He has employees who are more than willing to teach him some phrases that he can use. Sure, it ultimately amounts to him only being able to say "Hello," "Goodbye" and "I'm sorry." And yet, he may not need more than that right now. Bob and Abishola don't interact until the very end of this episode. The rest of the time they are dealing with their crazy families. With Bob, it's a much broader sensibility in which his mother and siblings each approach him separately in order to voice their opinions about this potential romance. They all have firm opinions about it. He doesn't really need their blessing though. In fact, he would rather them not act crazily around him at all. It's unlikely that that is going to change any time soon. But it's still fairly broad for Dottie to regale Bob with stories about her time in the motown clubs. It's a bit that goes on a little too long. More specificity is needed with these characters. And yet, it already feels clear that time is better spent on Abishola and her family. That's a balance that isn't quite right and leaves the show in quite an awkward position. Bob has the potential of being an engaging character though. He has the desire to learn and be as respectful as possible. That is admirable. However, Abishola is going on this journey in which everyone in her life congratulates her on this new relationship. People who don't need to know her business are talking about it. It's startling when the bus driver and the lead surgeon are happy for her. She is taken aback because she doesn't see this as something major. She hasn't been willing to open herself up to such a relationship either. She may have a ranking system for the man she would want should she get married again. But she hasn't actively been pursuing that. Olu may be happy to brag that she made all of this happen. Similarly, Kemi may be excited to blast the news all over social media. But Abishola is the one feeling insecure. She takes out all of these issues on Bob and destroys the relationship before any clarity can come. She does so purely as a reaction in order to fight back against what everyone else is saying. That isn't healthy. She doesn't have to abide by what other people want for her life. She may be conditioned that way though. It's a real struggle for her and it leaves Bob all alone in the end. That is sad and the show earns that moment without ruining it with some silly laugh. That proves that the storytelling absolutely has potential for this show.