Tuesday, September 21, 2021

REVIEW: 'Bob Hearts Abishola' - Abishola Must Decide What's Best for Dele After Landing in Nigeria with Bob in 'Welcome to Lagos'

CBS' Bob Hearts Abishola - Episode 3.01 "Welcome to Lagos"

After Bob and Abishola land in Lagos, they rush to rescue Dele from his dad's place and are a bit surprised at what they find once reunited. Auntie Olu and Uncle Tunde explore their old stomping grounds and realize things have changed since their last visit to Nigeria.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the season premiere of CBS' Bob Hearts Abishola.

"Welcome to Lagos" was directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller with story by Al Higgins, Gina Yashere & Matt Ross and teleplay by Nathan Chetty, Carla Fisher & Ibet Inyang Beneche

What's best for Dele? Does he belong in Detroit with his mother like he has for his entire life so far? Or should he spend time with his father in Nigeria and embrace the culture his family reveres so much? In the season finale, Tayo denied Abishola's request for Dele to return home early to be present for her wedding to Bob. At the time, it felt like an action done out of spite. He did so selfishly and with the intention of disrupting this important day. He found a way to move on and allow Abishola to pursue this new happiness. He wants to be present in his son's life though. He demands that. He won't allow that to be disrupted based solely on what Abishola wants. Everyone has the potential to act irrationally. Abishola and her family drop everything in order to fly to Nigeria. They do so with the intention of taking Dele back home with them. That takes the priority over the wedding. That is no longer a concern for Bob and Abishola despite their inability to find another time that works for this ceremony to happen. It was a very spur of the moment decision on their part. The wedding may ultimately occur in Nigeria. That may happen purely out of convenience. That's not the focus of this premiere though. This episode is all about Dele. Sure, it's mostly adults arguing about his future. He isn't actually part of the conversation. However, he was raised to respect the decisions adults make on his behalf. He has much love for his parents. He has voiced his opinions previously. He too has been respected by them. And yet, this situation is different. This action runs the risk of cutting Abishola out of his life entirely. That's not true at all. But that's the dramatic effect that builds up within Abishola. She was reluctant to send Dele away in the first place. She didn't want to lose him. She has had him his entire life. Tayo now wants to step up and be the father he ran away from being. Tayo couldn't thrive in America. This country is built up as a place of dreams and opportunities. Abishola made a life here. Olu and Tunde did as well. They brought their culture with them. They have also adapted to the ways in which America is different. They are judged for that. Their happiness is still prioritized above all else. They lead with great respect and admiration for the values that have long been instilled in them. Bob constantly makes a fool of himself in that regard. He doesn't know the traditions. He wants to make a good first impression with Abishola's mother. She is kind to him. However, he's not welcomed into her home. He hasn't earned that privilege yet. Moving the wedding to this location may allow that to happen. But this story isn't about what Bob wants in this moment. He only seeks to offer support to Abishola. She always wants to do what's best for her son. She has always believed that was being with her. The opportunities he had in America far exceeded what he could have in Nigeria. The African nation is prosperous in many ways though. It's a beautiful country. Bob sees that firsthand. Moreover, Abishola comes to regret kidnapping her son as the only viable option for her sense of worth. Yes, it's funny when the action cuts away to the hospital with Kemi and Gloria acting as if they are running some covert operation. However, it's personal and heartbreaking for Abishola to make this decision. That's the heart of this premiere. That's where the power lies. The various subplots don't really add up to a lot. They don't detract from the focus on Abishola though. Tayo gains some added perspective as well. This family is complicated. Bob is becoming a part of it. He is along for the journey. It's crazy and unpredictable. That's what makes it special. The show can often go for the broad joke. That doesn't always play well in the grand scheme of things. The support between Bob and Abishola is special and rewarding. That's apparent here and should help guide the storyline as even more characters make the trip to Lagos for the impromptu wedding. That can be a celebration despite the uncertainty that resides elsewhere in this world as things continue to change for the couple and their loved ones.