The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (2008–2009)

TV Series  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama
8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 2,308 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 8 critic

A woman opens her own detective agency in Botswana.

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1  
2009   2008  
Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 3 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Precious Ramotswe (7 episodes, 2008-2009)
...
 Grace Makutsi (7 episodes, 2008-2009)
...
 JLB Matekoni (7 episodes, 2008-2009)
Desmond Dube ...
 BK (7 episodes, 2008-2009)
Thabo Malema ...
 Charlie / ... (5 episodes, 2008-2009)
Tau Maserumule ...
 Fanwell / ... (5 episodes, 2008-2009)
Lebogang Motubudi ...
 Richard Makutsi (4 episodes, 2009)
Harish Patel ...
 Mr. Patel (3 episodes, 2009)
Brenda Ngxoli ...
 Florence Peko (3 episodes, 2009)
Dipshika Mahajan ...
 Nandira Patel (3 episodes, 2009)
Mosako Mogara ...
 Wellington (3 episodes, 2009)
Kgomotso Delia Tshwenyego ...
 Rose / ... (3 episodes, 2008-2009)
...
 Cephas Buthelezi (2 episodes, 2009)
Vusi Kunene ...
 Doctor Gulubane (2 episodes, 2008-2009)
...
 Note Makoti (2 episodes, 2008-2009)
Kenneth Nkosi ...
 Two Shots Pulani (2 episodes, 2009)
Keketso Semoko ...
 Mma Potokwane (2 episodes, 2009)
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Storyline

After her father's death, sensible and cheerful Mma Precious Ramotswe sells her inherited cattle and opens the country's only female-owned detective agency. She hires Botswana Secretarial College graduate (97% in the final exams!) Grace Makutsi as her assistant. Together they solve problems big and small with their wisdom, big hearts, and endless cups of red-bush tea. Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe's best friend, mechanic Mr. JLB Matekoni, hopes for a chance to win her heart... Based on Alexander McCall Smith's best-selling book series. Written by L. Hamre

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Release Date:

29 March 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Agência Nº1 de Mulheres Detectives  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This television show is based on a series of books by Alexander McCall Smith. The first line of the series' first book is, "Mma Ramotswe had a detective agency in Africa, at the foot of the Kgale Hill."). This line is a deliberate literary reference to the opening line of Isak Dinesen's classic memoir about Kenya, Out of Africa (which starts "I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills." When Out of Africa (1985) was made into a movie, its director was Sydney Pollack; before his death, Pollack was the executive producer for The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (2008). See more »

Connections

Featured in Breakfast: Episode dated 3 March 2011 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Much more than just charming
16 June 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I had heard so much about the books that I was looking forward to the pilot episode and I have not been disappointed since. I eagerly awaited each episode in the (first) season to see how the various relationships would develop, to see if there would be answers given to unanswered questions and to see how Precious would solve the next case. I've seen all the episodes in the first season, and now I want more. I hope to read the books sometime, but my review is from the perspective of someone who has not read them.

I agree that this series is not heavy, but it does have depth and complexity. It is not pablum and it is not Murder She Wrote, although there are similarities. In some ways, it's a bit more like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit where the detectives' past experiences and current lives are also a part of the ongoing story, even though each episode is centered on a couple of mysteries.

I think in the west we have become so used to seeing women in what were formerly men's jobs that there isn't enough appreciation for how tough it still is for women in other parts of the world to achieve respect for who they are and what they do rather than being judged on their looks or their ability to keep house. At the same time, there are some issues about women and families that transcend cultures, such as domestic violence and childlessness. That is not to say that it's a series for women. I've seen very positive online reviews by males. In fact, my husband and I usually watch the episodes together, but if he misses the original broadcast, he'll watch it "On Demand." Afterwards we'll discuss developments, motives and possible future directions as if these were the lives of friends we are viewing and not just fictional characters. What more can you ask of a series than to have the audience invested in the characters and plots?

One delightful feature of the No. 1 LDA is seeing how Precious solves each case in a different way using her intelligence, her skills at observation, her common sense, sometimes her marksmanship, and yes, sometimes luck. It is also a thrill to see what her definition of "solving" entails, as the solutions are not the typical bad guy gets found out and goes to jail in the last five minutes; in fact, in most cases, the law is not involved at all, but all clients who really want the truth (and deserve it) get satisfaction. Usually the audience also gets a sense that justice has been done in some way, even if it is not the end result we would typically see in a mystery series. We enjoy reviewing these approaches and results, their merits and demerits, and how different they are from our own approaches to the same issues.

Although there is a lot of focus on each character's development and on the relationships among themselves, it is not a melodrama. There is plenty of humor and wit sprinkled throughout. Of course, the series also has thrilling music and gorgeous scenery and it provides a little insight into a culture and environment slightly different than our own. A big plus is its positive depiction of an Africa that we seldom get to see in the west.

I don't want to spoil any of the stories, but I have read reviews that praise the series for its absence of violence and gore. I think that may be misleading. There are some adult themes, some violence, or suggestions of violence and definitely some things that a squeamish person might not like. These are largely left to the imagination rather than explicitly depicted on screen, and/or so miniscule compared to what usually comes out of Hollywood that some people may not even realize they are there, but they are not completely absent.

Thus, although the series is not for children, because of the way these issues are handled, it is possible these would go completely over the heads of any children watching. I can't recall any instances of foul language, at least none that I understood or that I could identify. However, I would really have to watch some episodes with this possibility in mind before deciding my kids could be around or watch the show.

Anyone watching the series will get a good (and gorgeous) view of another culture, its similarities and differences from ours, and perhaps some insights about our own society.

Of course, nothing pleases everyone, so there is no guarantee you will like it, but based on what I have seen and the online reviews I have read,there is a great chance you will enjoy it.

So, when does the next season start?


23 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Will there be a season 2? mimikiki69
linguistic neo-colonialism or post-colonialism? Gilmarien
Has anyone ever been to Botswana? alaidioteque
anyone else think Jill Scott is too young for this role sixteenjune
Best feel-good series in a long time? barbiekemp
One Word To Describe The Show (Pilot) Briandl

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