… is Jill Scott’s amazing figure. Is she gorgeous or what? I can’t stop marveling over how great she looks in those beautiful print dresses, a crown of thick natural hair floating above her multicolored scarves. It makes me realize how rare it is to see a full-figured black women represented with such dignity on the screen these days. In “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency,” Scott’s Detective Precious Ramotswe moves with grace, ease, and self-confidence. She’s not taking care of anybody’s babies, or inspiring white people to believe in their dreams.
Maybe this is what Stanley Crouch had in mind when he wrote that Scott’s character “embodies Bessie Smith’s proud claim of being a big fat mama with the meat just a-shaking off her bones.” But I don’t think Crouch quite gets it. Mma Ramotswe doesn’t strike me as a blueswoman, though she can be as forthright, perceptive and as sensual as one. As a plus-size woman myself, I’m just delighted to watch “No. 1 Ladies” and know that there isn’t a role in this series that Tyler Perry is qualified to play.
I also genuinely like the show. The mysteries are admittedly formulaic and just suspenseful enough for fans of “Monk” or “Murder, She Wrote,” while the cast of characters – especially Anika Noni Rose – are as quirky and sweet as the cops on “The Closer.” More serious, politically-charged TV shows like “The Wire” and “Homicide” are among my favorites – but I’m also glad to see black characters starring in other roles too.
After being inspired by the blog, This So Called Post-Post Racial Life, I hope to discuss”No. 1 Ladies” here on a regular basis. If you are also following the show or if you’ve read the books, please do drop a comment letting us know what you think. Did you catch this week’s episode? Have you read any reviews? Are you as in love with Precious Ramotswe as I am?