For any fans of Alexander McCall Smith, the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and Precious Ramotswe: I have good news! If you did not already know, there has been a tv series made based on the first three (I think) books. The BBC has it on their webpage, as does HBO. We rented it recently from Netflix and watched all the episodes available (ack! They only made one season…so far!).
So….my review. It’s hard to be objective because I really like the books, but that also makes me more likely to be critical of a film adaptation, so I guess it all equals out. I was enchanted. It is the first major film/tv to actually be filmed in Botswana! And the country, the people, are so fascinating it makes my husband nervous: “So…you want to move to Botswana now, right?” Also, I think that they found just the right actors for all the major parts. Mma Ramotswe is younger than I expected, but Jill Scott brings her vividly to life in such a charming way. I never really like Mma Makutsi much in the books and here Anika Noni Rose (the princess in the movie The Princess and the Frog) makes her far more likeable. And of course, JLB Matekoni fits the part so perfectly! Although they ramped up the drama and action to make it more normal tv, a lot of the charm and storyline of the books is still kept. One thing that struck me was how non-racial the series is; it is about Africa, Botswana especially, but there are way more gender axes to grind apparent than there are racial. At the end of watching a couple of episodes I watched the cast talk, and they mention this…and I realized with surprise that I had forgotten that all the actors were black! They were just people…such a refreshing change from the standard token minority of most tv.
I am done gushing. Watch it for yourself!