Sunday, March 29, 2009

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, "Pilot": Oh, Botswana

I mostly had my say on the two-hour pilot of "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" in Thursday's column, but feel free to weigh in on rolling R's, Stringer Bell relocating to sub-Saharan Africa, or any other part of the debut that pleased or displeased you.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think it's great they filmed on location in Botswana, but did they actually employ a single Botswanan actor? Or even a single native African actor?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Desmond Dube, who plays BK the hairdresser, is South African. The guy who plays Precious' mechanic friend JLB was raised in Zimbabwe.

But, yeah, it's mostly American or British actors.

Anonymous said...

Charming! Charming! Charming!
This is exactly what first came to mind when I was watching the pilot tonight! Then I went back and read your column, and agree with everything.

With Jill Scott as Precious, her joy and spirit is infectious. At the end, I was beaming. (In this economy, I really needed that.)

Looks like I found my regular Sunday show!

Anonymous said...

I don't love this show, but if Idris Ebla is going to continue to do that Al Pacino imitation I guess I'll keep watching.

Anonymous said...

It's better than "True Blood", at least.

Anonymous said...

Tumisho Masha, who played the lawyer Lucky Sesana, is South African and had a starring role in the Canadian/South African medical drama series Jozi-H.

kamilah said...

Actually it's only some of the main characters who aren't African, they employed hundreds of local Botswanans, even politicians!

Scott said...

Might be one of the worst shows I've seen. I wasn't sure what the show was... was it a comedy? A soap opera?

I've spent some time in Africa, and this wasn't the Africa I ever saw. Where was the trash, the throngs of people, the filth and squalor, the pollution?

Was the show released a year after Minghella died for a reason?

The acting was sophomoric, the writing predictable, the political correctness, childish ( OK... cue the gay hairdresser with the loud floral dashiki). I have come to expect quality programming from HBO.... where is Chris Albrecht now that we need him?

Anonymous said...

Scott:
I very much doubt if there will "throngs of people" in a country that is the size of Texas (582, 000 sqkm) but a population less than a quarter of new york city (1.85 million)-that is apopulation density of less than 3/sqkm. Africa is NOT one big country. Each country (and there are 53!) is unique (and im not being politically correct-just stating a fact). Going to Africa doesnt make you an expert on everything African.It just means you saw a part of a country in Africa not the whole continent.What are you saying?That if you have been to Capetown you would expect other African cities to also have the same coastlines (even when they are landlocked?).No.The same applies to the part of Africa you saw.It is not the one the writer saw or chose to depict.
Do you watch House, Grey's Anatomy and complain how it doesnt depict the more than 46m US citizens who cant access healthcare of that standard or do you watch it cos it is exciting/charming? Your preconceived notions cannot be used to dictate what filmmakers do. Yes there are squalors, slums and all that.But there are also upmarket neighbourhoods,malls, luxury resorts and car dealership.Much like elsewhere really.It is upto the author to choose their setting.PS: It is actually filmed in Gaborone,Botswana. Gotta make you think...

Garth said...

Finally got around to watching the pilot last night and was pleasantly surprised. The acting was charming and the visuals stunning. If the whole thing moved at a slow pace with not exactly surprising twists, c'est la vie. These days something this lush and good spirited seems a nice addition to my Sunday nights (and a good way to wind down after the higher-tension, even slower-paced Breaking Bad)

Kate E. said...

Looks like you aren't going to be doing regular reviewing on this one Alan?

I understand, it is not ground-breaking in any sense, but I have to say it is a really fun relaxing way to spend Sunday night.

We have been watching it while it airs which says something considering in our house the general DVR backlog.