I am a harsh judge when it comes to sitcoms. Very few catch my interest enough to warrant watching. Sometimes I think it is too much simple serialized joke telling with no plot; other times it is just plainly not funny. But even with my harshness, the new show Bob ♥ Abishola (Bob Hearts Abishola) was better than I expected.
The basic premise is that Bob has a heart attack and winds up as a patient in Abishola’s ward. He is intrigued by her, likes her singing, and because she is nice to him, he wants to say thank you by giving her some of his business merchandise — compression socks. He does, and then he tries to get to know her. They are from two totally different worlds, but he’s trying to get her attention.
The problem for me, and it was present even in the trailers, is I can’t see what Bob sees in Abishola. If he woke up, found her beautiful, and wanted to keep seeing her, that would be one thing. If she did something extraordinary that sparked his interest, sure. If they had some common interest, maybe. But it’s a tough sell in this episode.
Sure, he says she looks like an angel when he first wakes up, but it is so brief, there’s no meat to the item. And then they move on to him needing to pee. She sings to him while he is in the bathroom to get him to be able to pee, and he likes her voice. But he’s not blown away by it. The sole scene that resonates is that he gets her to laugh, and for a moment, her face lights up, and he likes having accomplished his goal to amuse her. But is it enough? The next day, he’s at work with his family, they’re up in his face about something, and he zones out thinking about her singing. Is it enough to spark a romance?
There are a lot of other characters running around, and interactions with them produce the funniest lines in the episode. Amusing, not laugh out loud guffaws. But he gives her the socks he makes, everyone loves them including her, and when he brings some more around, she is willing to take them. And she knows he is interested…there is a good conversation between her and another friend about how picky she can be when she’s at her current age (according to her friend, even a white man should be considered).
He’s sweet, he’s interested, he’s a bit funny, and he’s somewhat successful in business. Plus she likes the socks. I get why she might respond enough to get to know him or at least not chase him away. But there is little to the first encounter to justify the interest from him in the first place. Even if they had shown that he was lonely, all he wants is a kind face sometime, is that too much to ask, and then BAM! show her helping him. Without SOMETHING of a catalyst, I just didn’t find his interest in someone so different to be credible.
I predicted cancellation initially, and now having seen an episode that was better than I expected, I’m still sticking with the same prediction. I just don’t think there’s enough there.