The trailer for the upcoming CBS comedy Bob Hearts Abishola was out on Thursday and, judging by the reactions from Nigerians on Twitter, it was polarising. According to CBS, Bob Hearts Abishola is a love story about a middle-aged compression sock businessman from Detroit who unexpectedly falls for his cardiac nurse, a Nigerian immigrant, while recovering from a heart attack and sets his sights on winning her over.
Nigerian-born actress Folake Olowofoyeku (Westworld, The Gifted) plays Abishola, the nurse in question while Billy Gardell (Mike and Molly) is Bob. There are things to like about the trailer, and there also things that made me cringe. First, why does Olowofoyeku’s accent sound a little forceful and exaggerated and aping after the more generic African accent? Look, I’m trying not to say ‘Nigerian accent’ because is there really one? Nigeria is an heterogenous mix of languages, and frankly, I’d have appreciated it more if Olowofoyku had a keenly familiar regional accent wherein we can tell she sounds Yoruba or Hausa, and not the loud, clichéd Hollywood caricature of an African accent.
That said, I like that Olowofoyeku is a Nigerian playing a Nigerian character. Imagine the horror if the role had gone to Scarlett Johansson. Also, I’m conflicted at the pronunciation of ‘Abishola’ and not ‘Abisola.’ We are all familiar with the latter, but can someone explain where Abishola came from? Anyone please.
I think the accent sounds “overdone” so Canadians can actually understand clearly. Buttttt… is there a name called Abishola? https://t.co/v6h1cV05N7
— bisola (@bisola_NA) May 17, 2019
Bobs Hearts Abishola is from Big Bang Theory writer and executive producer Chuck Lorre, and will premiere sometime in September. Are you looking forward to it? Here’s the trailer below