Bringing Back The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

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If you never have heard of The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, you are about to right now.

Adapted from the book series by Alexander McCall Smith, the stories revolve around the cheerful optimism of private detective Precious Ramotswe who solves a variety of cases that range from the tragic to the absurd. Helping her along the way are her straight-as-an-arrow moralist secretary Grace Makutsi, hairdresser BK and car mechanic JLB Matekoni, who runs a car repair shop and has feelings for Precious. The stories themselves are set in Botswana, a country located in Southern Africa.


The series must have been daunting to pull off. Since the book is set entirely in another country, the first and most obvious expense would have been shooting on location in Botswana. The second would have been to find actresses who are from the country to play the two lead characters. Hiring Jill Scott as Precious Ramostswe and Anika Noni Rose as Grace Makutsi was guaranteed to give the show the marketing it needed internationally.


Scott, who has released three albums of beautiful music and is set to release a fourth this year, has also been an actress starring the Why Did I Get Married? film series, making an appearance on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and starring in her own Lifetime TV Movie as an alcoholic mother seeking to re-connect with her daughter in "Sins Of The Mother". Anika Noni Rose, herself a singer and actress, is known for her role as Lorrell Robinson in the film adaptation of Dreamgirls and as Princess Tiana in Disney's The Princess and The Frog.


Sydney Pollack, Anthony Minghella and Richard Curits put their creative talents to bringing the look, feel and language of the stories to life. Sadly, Minghella and Pollack were not on hand to oversea the television series itself as they both died shortly after filming on the pilot was completed. I'm sure they would have been pleased with the result as I was and many others who fell into the intoxicating universe McCall created.


The best episode of the series that packed the best dramatic punch possible was "The Boy With An African Heart" which guest starred CCH Pounder as an American mother looking to discovered the truth about what happened to her son, who went missing while working in Africa. The conclusion of the episode is rather sad, but also expands the characters of both Ramostswe and Makutsi. Rose, Scott, and Pounder give some incredible performances as well.


The supporting cast is solid. Msamati and Dube bring some of the lighter aspects of the series as Matekoni and BK. Msamati's character especially is good because he is not just merely a bumbling man out for the heart of Ramostswe, but he is also Ramostswe's best friend and the one who knows her heart the most. It would be interesting to see what took place if HBO ever pushes forward with another season (or at least a television movie or two).


Dr. Goddess, a social media expert, has started a petition on Twitter to bring the series back most recently and has written about the series on her own blog. Cynthia Reid, a writer over at the black film blog Shadow And Act, has also done a write-up of the show citing Dr. Goddess and her petition as well. Barbara Soloski Albin, who made her own movement earlier on to get the show back on the air, is leaving updates on the main No 1 Ladies Detective Agency page on Facebook which HBO runs containing contact information to the various executives who would make the move to bring the series back at the network.


Give it a rental on Netflix during one weekend; You just may enjoy it.

Comments

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  • Great article on a wonderful series that appeals to all genders, nationalities, ages and ethnic groups. This series has brought so many people together to become friends. Just want to also thank Amy J. Moore of Cinechicks and Tim Bricknell for the wonderful work they both did on this series, from Ms. Moore discovering the book to her and Mr. Bricknell along with all the others mentioned working on scripts. Again, Please help us bring back the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and thank you for the great article.

  • Thanks Barb.

  • Sign this online petition to have HBO bring it back. http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/theno1ladiesdetectiveagencyhbo/

  • In reply to davidearly:

    @David - this is great I will pass this around for those that do not have a twitter account. Thanks. Barbara

  • In reply to davidearly:

    We did it for "The Game" lets do it for "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency".!!

  • Actually the site for the online twitter petition is:
    http://www.facebook.com/l/drgoddess.com/2011/05/jillscott/ If you do not have a twitter account, it is easy to sign up, maybe not easy to understand. LOL

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