Mar 30 2009
Jill Scott, Anika Noni Rose, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

Jill Scott and Anika Noni Rose Score in The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency

Recovering from a stomach virus, Sunday was a TV day for me. Flipping through the channels I found myself watching the Sex and the City movie. (Hey, it’s not like I paid for ticket; and Jennifer Hudson’s part was embarrassing. Her rented bags and then so happy to get her very own Louis Vuitton. In the words of Mark Jackson, “You’re better than that.”) That served as a warm up for Jill Scott and Anika Noni Rose in The The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Based on the series of ten novels by British author Alexander McCall Smith, the HBO screen adaptation is simply one of the most refreshing shows on TV at the moment.

Filmed on location in Botswana, JIll Scott is fantastic as Mma Precious Ramotswe. Precious inherits 180 cows after her father’s death that she sells at auction. She has the audacious idea to start a detective agency to help the people of the country she loves and because as she says, people want to know why things happen. With a cup of bush tea she sits outside her freshly painted shop with not a single customer in sight, but with patience and words of encouragment by a barber shop owner next door, she’s feeling good about her prospects. Every detective needs a secretary; enter Anika Noni Rose as Mma Grace Makutsi. A graduate of the Botswana Secretarial College. She’s quick to point out her 97% percent grade average and efficiency with all office duties. Her super-perfectionist personality make for some laughable moments.

Jill Scott and the cheating husband takes flicks

In this first of six episodes we meet a dubious daddy; a cheating husband who loves thick women ala Jill Scott; a child kidnapped by a witch doctor; a missing finger scam; and Idris Elba makes a surprise appearance in a return to his Wire/captain of the thugs roots.

The combination of comedy, drama, and mystery is light-hearted entertainment worth watching.

Some people have complained that the complexity of the books got lost in translation, but isn’t that the case with most book to screen projects? People are also saying that African actors should have been used instead of Americans with ‘bad’ African accents. Saying HBO could have used this as a chance to highlight fantastic African actors and actresses. On this side of the globe who is going to watch a show with a bunch of foreign actors? A mix and match of recognizable American faces with Africans was necessary for eyeballs. Like yours.

If you missed it, catch a re-run and tune in next week. How about a snippet?

☼ What's Your Opinion? ☼

1 Peggy Outlaw Mon, Mar 30, 2009 - 4:52 pm

I was very impressed with how HBO captured the essence of the wonderful books by Alexander McCall Smith.  It is refreshing to see TV focused on ordinary people with good ethics, common sense, compassion and humor.  Please continue with this series.  Delightful!

2 ME Tue, Mar 31, 2009 - 1:44 pm

I just happened to stumble across the show yesterday night and I LOVED IT!!!

3 MAP Tue, Mar 31, 2009 - 4:23 pm

Jill Scott, a very talented and pretty woman.I wonder why she doesn’t get more exposure?

4 Mimi Wed, Apr 01, 2009 - 12:42 pm

I caught the pilot of this show yesterday. It’s a breath of fresh air for an all african/african-american cast. I’m not familiar with the books but the whole plot & scenery just pulled me in. Excellent show, I hope it garners a big audience to keep it going.

5 Tebo Thu, Apr 09, 2009 - 10:33 am

Yeah am a Motswana, the movie was shot here in our country and will lyk to congragulate our government for such initiative; they sponsored the movie….Thanx a lot to MmaRamotswe aka Jill Scott for being part of the whole thang.For the record, we are new in these kind of movie industries and this is the only movie we have.

6 norma Sun, Nov 01, 2009 - 12:37 pm

I love Jill and Anika. They are both wonderful ladies. I hope the show will be as successful as they are. Who ever said Jennifer’s role in the sex and the city movie was embarrassing went a little over board. However, I do agree with she is much better than that. Jennifer Hudson is a very underrated multi-talented super star. I do believe a lot of it is mainly because of her dark skin and her not being a size 2. Jennifer is a very beautiful dark skin sister, and looks very flawless in her 12’s. The young artist is very gorgeous, and she is as humble as they come in the industry.

7 Phyllis Sun, Jan 24, 2010 - 7:29 pm

I want to know if we’re ever going to see this series continue?  I miss it!!!