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4.6 out of 5 stars61
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on December 5, 2009
The characters in Alexander McCall Smith's popular detective books absolutely come to life in this HBO TV series, as does the country of Botswana. Singer/poet Jill Scott is the perfect combination of sweetness and strength that is Precious Romotswe, the number one lady detective. Her prim and proper secretary/assistant detective is played wonderfully by Anika Noni Rose. Anthony Minghella, the Academy Award winning director of The English Patient and The Talented Mr. Ripley, has done a beautiful job on this, his final project. The gorgeous cinematography make the people and country of Botswana shine. As an added bonus there is the author's film diary that explains how each story was written, information on the country of Botswana, as well as footage of the making of the No. 1 Detective Agency. This is positively the best made series of films (for the big screen quality is unmistakable) I have ever seen that was also adapted from stories I have loved to read.
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on December 2, 2010
If you love the quirky, charming and folkloric nature of the books you'll love this series. I so enjoyed seeing the characters brought to life and each one is cast perfectly. You'll recognize many of the plots plus there are new characters and themes to enjoy. I watched the DVD over several weeks during the spring and I'm ready to see it all again now that winter's coming. If you find the DVD a bit pricey, look for second-hand, as I did. I have no regrets with this purchase.
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on August 2, 2010
The adults in our household loved these stories. We found that they followed the books very closely, and that the characters are very realistic. The music is uplifting. A great show for all to watch.
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on October 20, 2009
This was the best video we've watched! Excellent family entertainment - great stories - can't wait for the next season!!!
Bought a copy for my Mom. The #1 Ladies Detective Agency rocks!
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on June 27, 2013
The main character-Precious, is perfectly suited to exactly who you envision while reading the books. I found the setting of Botswana exotic and intriguing. Precious never once misses an opportunity to praise Botswana above all the other African countries, nor does she get tired of defending her larger size by claiming she has 'a traditional build'. The stories sneak in a little education as each one subtly contains a topic or two relating to the culture or issues of Botswana. Extremely well worth the purchase.
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on September 5, 2012
After reading the books years ago, we did not expect to be so gripped by the series or the characters, but fell for them all again on screen. What a terrific series, and how refreshing not to be exposed to the graphically visual violence that typifies so much of the on screen productions today. The characters were wonderful, the plots were wonderful, and we think there should have been a continuation of the series; what a delightful experience and an educational one, seeing Botswana that way on screen.
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on October 1, 2010
Pure joy! My husband and I have read the entire #1 Ladies Detective Agency series and were delighted with the television production. Lots of liberties are taken with the text so purists may be disappointed. The additon of the gay hairdresser, the scrambling of cases and the combining of various characters all work well adding humour and increasing the pace of events. Jill Scott is a perfect Mma Ramotswe...a joyous,compassionate, intelligent African woman of traditional build.
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on August 9, 2012
this tv series totally encapsulates Alexander McCall Smiths books. With a few additional characters to increase comedic relief (ie. the hairdresser next door) , the story lines follow the books almost exactly. Loved seeing Africa like this in a show- stunning- with glorious snippits of native animals. A must see if you have read the series or not! Hope they make more seasons :)
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on June 22, 2012
The books have been an extremely rewarding past time, so I really doubted a film could capture the true essence of the books. I'm so glad I was wrong because no book has ever been interpreted so well!! Every episode of the dvd is funny, loving and beautifully visual. I only wish that there was a second season available! I'd always wondered what Botswana looked like and the film visuals are magnificent...not only do we see everyday Botswana but we also witness the diversity of the country..I want to go ! The films are not the typical African sad story but show thriving and growing populations who are determined to improve themselves through hard work and dedication. I only wish the entire planet felt the same way.
This is a must see collection that will appeal to almost everybody. I hope this helps you decide to purchase the series as it's money well-spent that will give you hours of enjoyment!!!!!!
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon February 9, 2015
We have only one disappointment with this series: future series were cancelled after this first season. We don't understand why the producers felt they couldn't go on, as it received nothing but great reviews and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Every episode was highly entertaining. The acting was wonderful, especially by Anika Noni Rose as the assistant for Precious Ramostswe, the # 1 detective. There's lots of fun and great humour in this series. We also appreciated the Special Features where we learned more about Botswana and how this movie was made. The movie itself gives insight into the people of Botswana today.

There are a few intense scenes, so this probably wouldn't be appropriate viewing for children. However, older teens and adults will experience a treat by watching this movie. No foul language, but a few suggestive references.
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