A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series emphasizes the importance of family, friendship, and community. Precious is almost always motivated to help her clients out of a sense of morality and duty rather than financial gain. The show also exposes viewers to music, dance, language, and other aspects of Botswanan culture. It does briefly explore some complex issues like domestic violence, the disparity between Christian ideals and "traditional" beliefs in African culture, and women's changing role in the workplace.
Positive Role Models
Precious is a charming, self-confident, highly moralistic woman who's undaunted by the task of blazing a new trail and taking on challenges. That said, she also sometimes goes to questionable lengths to solve her mysteries, including inviting a strange man home to set him up to get evidence of his infidelity and tracking down a missing boy despite the abductor's threats against her and her friends. She also often misrepresents herself to gather information for cases. One male character is portrayed as obviously gay, though references to his sexuality are limited to a woman's comment that "That man is very much like a woman."
Violence & Scariness
Not much is shown, but there's mention of past domestic abuse (Precious lost a baby after her ex-husband beat her), and a boy is abducted and held captive by a group that threatens bodily harm to anyone interfering in the matter. Some episodes involve things like attempted poisonings and investigation of past murders. A few threatening animals.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some mild flirting throughout, and lots of talk about relationships between men and women. One scene in an early episode features heavy sexual innuendo when a man picks up a woman in a bar and she invites him home, where they share a passionate (albeit brief) kiss.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A few brief instances of adults drinking in social situations.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this series based on the popular book series by Alexander McCall Smith is much milder than most HBO fare. Although it touches on mature themes like women's movement away from "traditional" working roles, the repercussions of disease in African populations, domestic abuse, and crime, the overall tone is light and often humorous, and there's little strong language, drinking, or violence. That said, there are a few tense moments, and the main character sometimes makes questionable decisions that could have dire real-life consequences (for example, inviting a strange man home so she can prove his infidelity).
Is It Any Good?
It's always a leap of faith to transfer popular books to the movie or TV screen, since they risk losing a certain artful quality. But nervous fans of Smith's delightful novels can breathe easier knowing that this series has charm to spare and does the books proud. Scott is an absolute delight as the passionate, undaunted Precious, and the supporting players -- each one as talented and appealing as the next -- draw viewers into the rhythms of Botswanan culture.
The episodes' storylines touch on themes that might start fans' wheels turning, including women's struggles to break out of "traditional" working roles, domestic violence, and the repercussions of disease on the African population. Though the show somewhat glosses over some of these serious issues, it's understandable in context of the series' mostly lighthearted nature. Teens and up will enjoy the lyrical dialogue and endearing characters.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.