The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

Jill Scott & Anika Noni Rose Have you guys been watching Jill Scott and Anika Noni Rose’s new HBO drama, The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency? The show first aired two weeks ago and I have seen repeats of each episode about 20 times. I watch very little television, mostly news and HGTV, so having an adult show I can watch and enjoy is truly a pleasure. Jill Scott is truly an amazing actress- just in case anyone thinks her performance in “Why Did I Get Married” was just a fluke. Anika Noni Rose is also amazing in her role as Jill’s secretary. Anika is such an underrated actress. She keeps getting cast alongside well known singers so attention for her is always rather sparse. Still, she owns each role she plays and just like in Dreamgirls, her comedic and sweet nature totally saves the day.

If you haven’t seen the show yet you can catch it on HBO Sunday nights at 8pm.


  1. I watch it stephanie 🙂 I have an issue with the portraying of Africa in the series but looking past that.It’ s a great show and i’ m i the only one still up ?Lool

  2. Dammit! I don’t get HBO 🙁 From what I’ve seen in the previews though, Jill Scott has that role on lock down even down to the African accent.

  3. Actually being a South African woman, I watched the trailer only, I heard her accent…HORRIBLE!!!

    Almost as horrible as Leonardo DeCrap’s Blood Diamonds accent.

    The thing is, most American people who come and act in Africa, actually mess up because they don’t understand that an accent depends on where you live, what language you speak(you know, that South Africa only, has about 11 languages) imagine all the languages in Africa as a CONTINENT, and it also depends on your education level and where you attended school.

    Like me, I went to an English medium school since Grade 1, so my accent is more white English than black African, my mother is Xhosa, and her accent is more Bantu Education based meaning she was educated during the apartheid time in South Africa when black students weren’t allowed good education, so her accent is more black.

    Anyway, this drama is based in Botswana where they speak Tswana and English as first languages. And I know a lot of people from Botswana, and I have read the book, her accent doesn’t do it justice.

    By the way, to all Americans, there is no such thing as an African accent….Africa is NOT a country, it is a CONTINENT!!!

  4. Love this show. I have the 2nd episode on the DVR and I am watching tonight. The first episode was very good. Not what I was expecting but I loved it. Good job HBO! :bowdown:

  5. im not a fan of jill scotts music (just not my type) but i always thought she could be a great actress :thumbsup:

  6. i’ve seen bits and pieces of it, but jill is a good actress, and the parts i’ve seen are pretty good

  7. I like the show,I do..Jill scott fake ass accent makes me crack the hell down but she is too cute and too talented,Anika is slept on but she is one hell of an actress

  8. i love the show and i love how jill has mastered the accent. anika noni rose simply CRACKS ME THE HELL UP as her secretary. she’s so blunt and hilarious, i love it! the show is a definitely a must-see for me on a Sunday night. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

  9. Permit me quote my good friend Samiraedi

    “Funny as some of the episodes are, the cast are stereotypical and their portrayal rather outrageous. After “enjoying” the dramatic antics of the lead characters; brilliantly portrayed by Jill Scott as Precious and her quirky little secretary Anika Rose, it downed on me that the amateurish approach to their jobs, of both ladies is a stereotypical depiction of Africa. It seems as if Africans cannot be demure, composed, classy and intellectual.

    And this is no fault of the producers – but I felt a sense of revulsion and shame at some of the story lines, because they are true.

    But this is drama, and this is comedy. It should’ve been lighter with something that didn’t made Africans look so stupid– like paying a detective to find a small unhappy dog? Some of the stories portrayed the gory and filthy side of Africans.

    In the episode of “The Big Bonanza” Precious had to use her bare hands to extract a watch from the dead carcass of a crocodile, which had swallowed a client’s husband- effectively, she was dipping her hand into the belly of a dead man to extract a watch!! How filthy is that!!

    Something else worried me! Georgeous as Jill Scott is, she wouldn’t cut it as a lead in a Hollywood Detective Story; because she doesn’t “look the part.” I applaud the producers for giving her the part, because I am not prejudicial about the way people look in such things. But I’m highlighting this to confirm the perception that the “typical African lady” is an ample figured Mama (as portrayed) in the mind of the Whiteman. That is why she was chosen; to go with the perceptin of the adipose African Mother.

    If there was a real life African detective lady, she’d be a slim, sassy, saucy, sexy little minx, dressed in a provocative outfit, and not in a large boubou wearing comfortable or flat shoes.

    OK, and the dialogue was a drag. Not sharp and quick-witted. Their tongues(accents) seemed too heavy for English. I thought that was a mistake. Art should imitate life– to a certain extent. They spoke English like it was great effort that took out strength from the actors. I know it is meant to be a Botswana accent, but…
    Again, the little child actor (bless him) couldn’t act and speak at the same time. Check out little kids in Slum Dog.. that’s what I’m talking about. They make out Africans to act stupid and make-do with mediocrity.

    Posted by: samiraedi | April 04, 2009 at 12:37 PM ”


  10. Hollywood bs: Is God making his come back today? Why i’ m i agreeing with you ?

  11. I haven’t seen the program yet, but, I am a huge Jill Scott fan so I definately will be checking it out. I am beginning to see why a lot of producers don’t want to work with black people especially black women. It’s just too much. First we complain because they won’t hire sisters that look like sisters and now we are complaining because we feel that they are too much like sisters. Give me a break people let’s just be happy for these two sisters and their excellent work. Maybe seeing this will open the eyes of Hollywood directors and producers outside of black men in the entertainment industry. Because no one portrays us worse than they do. Maybe this will open doors for sisters in the entertainment industry. The few things I have seen Jill & Anika are acting their butts off. We can’t all play Rosa Parks it’s good to see some diversity in the roles of women of color. Because for a long time you were either a maid, prostitutes, or angry. We are making progress.

  12. Bee: Why should we just settled for what we’ re given? Why can’ t we ask for something specific and get it? Aren’ t we worth it? I am senegalese so i’ m from africa, and as i have stated before I’ m a little ofended by the way Africa have been portrayed so far Not only in this series,Imagine for a moment that someone comes to the Us shoot a video of the poorest and saddest ghetto and take it to the world as America, How would you feel? Seeing people with poor language and poor manners being represented as you ?Knowing that you are a smart, well mannered and well brought up person How would you feel?Yes i am upset that there is not more real sisters given good roles , but does that mean that we should settle for what we’ re given as long as it is better than the usual one? We are indeed making progress but what sista we can’ t strive to play, smart intelligent classy NON STEREOTYPICAL women?
    I still have a great respect for you tho :hifive:

  13. @Everyone on here i will not be back on here until April 20. So everyone i type to you when i get back. Im going to california and to relax and enjoy.
    @Stephanie keep up the good work until i get back. Keep the good posting until i get back lol. Much love everyone.

  14. Ldy will you visit me ? I live in Paloes Verdes you’ re so welcome :hifive:

  15. I want to watch this show so bad!…but I don’t have HBO 🙁

  16. Voice

    lmao! miracles do happen no?

    I am trying so hard not to say something negative about your post…trying so so hard.

  17. I have seen the show and I liked it. I love Jill Scott, she is so talented :brownsista:

  18. If youve actually read the series Precious Ramotse is always reffered to as a lady of “traditional build”. A slim Precious? No frigging way! The locale is also in keeping with the book.
    Ive seen people vexed an african didnt play the part. Seen people pissed a singer got the part. People fuming that a white man had the audacity to write a book about a black lady detective in Botswana. Ive even seen people bitch about the “Africa” portrayed in the film not being poverty stricken and fly encrusted enough. Na wa oh! (i wont translate)

    Botswana is a prosperous country. Yes it has a serious HIV/AIDS problem but its still a pretty well developed and prosperous diamond producing country in control of thier resources (thats not newsworthy by the way)

    It isnt 80% right but after the tomfoolery that was Coming to America (i still laugh at it tho) its a good attempt. At least it was actually shot in Botswana. And they took time to find a full figured black woman that carries herself well just like Ms Ramotswe.

    and thank you for clarifying that theres no such thing as an African accent. Accents are linked to language. there may be 6 languages in one State in one country.

    Ok I better stop… gathering way to much steam! lol

  19. @ lady,

    Enjoy your holiday!

    @ everyone,

    I’ve yet to watch this; no tengo HBO. But they do make good shows…”The Wire”, “Entourage” anyone? LOL

  20. HOLLYWOOD Bs: Sure do! ima go on teh rihanna post and back on hating the life out of you :lol2:
    pam :hifive:

  21. Love it, love it, love it!

    I got free HBO 10 days ago just in time to watch this series. I don’t read fiction so I am not familiar with the book. Never been to any African country so I have no insight on the authenticity of the accents. It is clear to me it is a dramedy so I won’t critique it like some serious drama. It is not a documentary it is a fictional character.

    I think it is very sweet and entertaining. I don’t see the characters as being stupid or baffoons. I have noticed that Jill’s accent and hair changed on the 2nd episode. Rose is definently the stand out. She is indeed “97 percent” (running joke in the series) better than most of the actresses working today. Look forward to see what is the relationship between her and the guy on the couch.

    I googled and found that the BBC Scotland filmed a version of the book that aired a year ago in England. Did any of you view that version and how does it compares to the USA version.

    Also shocked to see the book was written by a white guy.

  22. lol@voice

    also she was dressed just right. would i wear a bou bou to investigate in US? No. Id wear what other people wore so I wont stand out. Besides she isnt doing any jumping out of moving cars, gun waving stunts. Neither did Miss Marple and she solved many a crime.

    Movies have a shorthand developed by Hollywood. It doesnt automatically translate to other locations.

    BTW I love this board and the disscussions we have. It was one of the last bastions of sanity during the peak of Chrianna.

    Muah everyone! Happy Easter!

  23. LOVE…..LOVE…..LOVE…. the show!!!

    Jill is a really good actress and Anika Noni Rose is hilarious as her uptight assistant.

    LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  24. goodness, i thought her accent was off and said something to my mother and she thought it sounded funny too. thanks for the clarification, i wish an african woman had got the part.

  25. @Dark sista it’s okay girl. Baby steps. We have two black women in a top production HBO series that are not dying of Aids nor recovering from crack or heroin and it seems to be a really great picture can’t we just be happy for a moment. Can’t we just enjoy that this is a really great series and two great actresses who happened to be black are acting in it. Is that so hard to just be happy.

  26. Voice

    and I’m going back to the BEY post so I can keep on beating your a**

  27. @voice
    Im Nigerian… live in Nigeria in the infamous Niger Delta. travel a lot.

    Nigerians revere Senagalese bou bous. In our eyes Ghanaian and Senegalese tailors/seamstresses can do no wrong. and can charge us triple for good measure.

  28. Where are the African actors that some of you wish they would have hired?!?! The role goes to an african American, but because she can’t nail the accent she shouldn’t have the role?

  29. lala… I feel choosing American leads for something showing in the US is a sound business decision. Films are financial investments.

    “Where are the African actors that some of you wish they would have hired?!?!”

    Sarafina had mostly South Africans starring in it apart from Whoopi(she wasnt the lead) and they won awards globally… what exactly is your point? That they dont exist or that they are inconsequential?

    Jill Scott and everyone else did a good job. lala… even the cast members from Bots

  30. Hollywood bs: hmm you’ ve been the one getting whopped but okay :lol2:
    Pam: GIRLLLLLLLLLLLLLL :hifive: ma sista and i are senegalese chinese and jamaican,don’ t you know how much money we get charged for those boubou especially in bazin abo? with the broderie :lol2: ivoirian and malian tailors are gifted too girl!

    lala: it’ s not that we’ re happy she got the role, We’ re happy for the movie we are just sayin! I don’t understand why we can’t give our opinions because these roles are “better” than what we’ re used to..We are just saying nothing more nothing less , rita dominic, omotola jalade, ini edo, adrienne koutouan,amy ouedraogo, jeanne tessia,mona lisa chinda, If you look for them they are there and very talented but people would not know anything about them …

  31. @ everybody in here

    :koolaid: :lol2:
    have any of you ever watched those african movies?
    mainly nigerian and ghanian?
    um…the name van vicker might ring a bell if anything?
    my fam (mother and anti) and mad deep into them……i’m not saying i can tell a botswanan accent from a nigerian or anything else but the way jill n’ em sound was mad funny when i saw the commercial for it. i think they are gonna show it on WE tv or some other lady network. i wanna see just one episode if anything and then make my judgment.

  32. Youre a fierce combo sista.

    The embroiderers prices are really evil but its a lot of work. The modern designs are just mindblowing.
    When my friends abroad visit, buying fabric and having clothes made is a fun novel thing to do. Esp when they realise it doesnt have to be flowing mama earth robes… choose what you want! I call it cultural tourism…

    Some weekend Kool aid for everyone :koolaid:

    Im having greens and yam

    Im hopelessly off topic now…

  33. Man, I don’t have HBO. I’ll have to see it some how some way.

    Happy Easter Brown Sistas! :brownsista:

  34. I understand the accent thing is annoying and overshadows the acting,lets just give them more time to work on it,they will get it right one day….Whoopi did a great job in Sarafina,….i dnt have a problem with African-American actors playing African roles,i think its a great thing wether it is a lead or supporting role….they are a huge part of us and i wish they cud be choose more exciting storylines and potray our real day to day life,i sumtimes feel sad that Afro-Americans are given a limited roles in Hollywood.This is a great opportunity to create partnership with us,i know that some of the movies do recieve bugdet from our South African government and we are great story tellers so imagine the opportunity for them to have freedom to choose.Derek Luke was amazing in catch a fire,Don moved me in Hotel Rwanda and looking forwad to Jill Scott….they are shooting Law and Order here in South Africa and….Killing of Wendy was filmed here in S.A….Nigerian movies are hilarious aod amazing-Mr.Ibu,the Continent has great movies,and they can share with us,lets support them…i hurt when hollywood treats them like 2nd class citizens…arent they lucky to have 2 continents as their home?its a blessing and they shud take advantage of it.

  35. pam :hifive: you know it :lol2: yam is my thing greens not so much abi!
    Lizz maybe you’ re right :hifive:

  36. Minus the little complaints,One i free up my mind and stop thinking about it, the series is really entertaining i have to give them that… I am still proud of my sisters but like i said, we need not to keep the stereotypes alive..But Good series and i will be watching.

  37. For those of you who are watching this I hope they never take it off!!! I love this it’s so refreshing to see an great actress with a real and original story line..hint hint (not BEEEEE).. It’s a great show and I enjoy it so much!!!!!!

  38. he worm with the glasses…a.k.a. “OOH CORN!
    van vicker is MY MAN! rita dominic is my girl, Ini edo need to sit down somewhere and Omotola beat all of them down! I like genevieve nadji too her and my older sister are best friends

  39. If you want control of a story then write your own. Stop tearing down someone else’s creation.

    I am a writer and you can only tell one story at a time no matter how multi-faceted. Somone is ALWAYS gonna complain but really folks it is one facet of a culture.

    Anyway, I may switch to HBO just to see it.

  40. I too have watched every episode at least 10 times…LOVE IT!!! Anika Noni Rose and Jill Scott are perfect in their role. Very refeshing show since Im busy in grad school and dont watch tv much. Looking forward to more episodes. The show makes me look forward to visiting the motherland soon :brownsista:

  41. This is a fabulous show. I have watched the episodes at least twice and love the characters. Any criticism is from those who have never lived in Africa, which I have. Number one best show on TV.

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