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Home > The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: The Complete First Season
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: The Complete First Season
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: The Complete First Season


Retail Price: $59.99
Lowest Total Price: $22.97
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Sales Rank: 1,153

Actors: Jill Scott
Rating: PG
Features: Box set, Color, Dolby, DVD, Subtitled, Widescreen, Closed-captioned, NTSC
Running Time: 451 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Release Date: September 8, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: 2008
Studio: HBO

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Based on the best-selling novels by Alexander McCall Smith, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency tells the uplifting fictional story of a Botswana woman who fulfills a longtime dream – and bucks daunting odds – by opening her country’s first and only female-owned detective agency.
The lead hails from the U.S. and the creators come from the U.K., but The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency celebrates Botswana, "the finest place on God's Earth," as surely as a woman’s intuition. In his final directorial effort, Anthony Minghella joins forces with producer/co-writer Richard Curtis for the pilot, in which Precious Ramotswe Grammy-winning singer Jill Scott makes her debut. After her father dies, Mma Ramotswe sells his cows and opens an agency, because she "wants to do good." So, the "traditionally built woman" in the words of Anthony McCall Smith, who wrote nine books about her leases the old Gabarone post office, hires hyper-efficient secretary Grace Makutsi Anika Noni Rose, Dreamgirls, and gets down to business.

With sassy hairdresser BK Desmond Dube and smitten mechanic JLB Matekoni Lucian Msamati cheering her on, Mma Ramotswe becomes a combination detective/feminist icon, sharing "endless cups of red bush tea" with her clients, encouraging women to take charge of their lives, and tackling tricky cases involving missing persons, duplicitous daddies, dangerous dentists, and unfaithful spouses MI-5's David Oyelowo plays one of them. Produced for the BBC/HBO and filmed in Africa, the first season eschews gunplay and profanity for a fresh take on the small-town mystery series. Like Agatha Christie's Marple, but with fewer dead bodies, Mma Ramotswe depends more on her wits than technology.

In his author's diaries, McCall Smith reveals that "Minghella had long wanted to film my novels." Tim Fywell and Charles Sturridge Brideshead Revisited handle the remaining six episodes, while other distinguished guests include Prime Suspect's Colin Salmon as Ramotswe's ne'er-do-well ex-husband and Emmy nominee CCH Pounder as a mother searching for a lost son. Why Rose, who turns on a dime between comedy and tragedy, didn't also receive Emmy recognition, however, is the show's real mystery. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

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