Bob Hearts Abishola creator and actress Gina Yashere recently spoke to Shadow And Act about the beginning of the show’s second season, which finally showed Bob (Billy Gardell) proposing to nurse Abishola (Folake Olowofoyeku).
The proposal means, of course, more issues for Bob and Abishola to overcome before they finally get married, including dealing with Abishola’s ex-husband…or almost ex-husband, since she’s still technically married.
“You know he’ll probably be coming back to cause some trouble,” she said.
But regardless, Yashere said that Bob and Abishola’s love, which has overcome interracial and intercultural hurdles, shows that love can conquer all.
“No matter where you come from, we can find common ground because we all have the same loves, hates, fears, you know?” she said. “So at the end of the day…you can always find common ground whether it’s through love [or] friendship.”
Bob Hearts Abishola has not only promoted the idea of love across boundaries, but also the idea of the African diaspora coming together. The series has made an effort to focus on some of the difficulties and similarities African Americans and African immigrants have when discussing diasporic issues. Yashere said she hopes her show informs viewers that it is okay to learn from each other.
“Even though it is a comedy, we’re telling stories based in reality of fact. We’re making people laugh, but we’re also introducing these stories brilliant stories that may not have ever been heard before. Generally, people tend to think that all Black people are monolithic, but we’ve got so many different countries, so many different languages, so many different cultures,” she said. “So we show the similarities and differences and how there may have been some miseducation in the past, there’s been some divide and conquer in the past, but we’re…telling those stories and making people see where the origins of where this stuff comes from. We’re doing it in a way where we’re making you laugh but we’re making you think at the same time.”
The series will not dive into the pandemic, which Yashere said was in order to give viewers a break from the real world. But the series is engaged in the very real efforts by CBS to increase diversity behind and in front of the camera. As recently reported, CBS has committed to several diversity initiatives and mandates in order to create more equity within the network. Yashere said it is “great that CBS is making a concerted effort” to amend some of its past with diversity, and she’s happy her show can be a part of it.
“[It’s] fantastic, I’m loving it,” she said. “The universe has worked in a way where I just happen to be here at the right time. I’ve been in the business a long time and had doors shut in my face for a long time, partly because, obviously, they weren’t sure about our stories. So, it’s great to be here now and have a show that’s part of that zeitgeist and I’m hoping there’s a lot more [to come]. I’m hoping to bring forth more stories from talented Black creators in the future.”
The positive trajectory of Bob Hearts Abishola in the real world and within the show’s universe seem to be the same–that we can all find peace and love with each other if we’re willing to work together.
“Love wins,” said Yashere. “It doesn’t matter where you come from, where you started, what the color of your skin is. At the end of the day, it’s all about giving, it’s all about kindness. It’s all about empathy.”
Bob Hearts Abishola airs Mondays at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS.