Soul Food Family is the type of reality television that is born from such delusional self obsession that it is fascinating, frightening and foul, all at the same time. Much like the murky brown tanks of oil that everything gets dropped into at this institution.
Robbie Montgomery is the owner of the St Louis soul food restaurant "Sweetie Pie's" and the 70 something matriarch of the family, with fond memories of being exploited during the sixties by Ike Turner as a background singer and "original" Ikette. Many years after the demise of her singing career, the "soul sister turned to soul food" and opened "Sweetie Pie's" with her family. Supersaturating every single ingredient with the maximum amount of kilojoules whilst draining it of all colour, the family now proudly produces soul food and dispenses it soup kitchen style to queues of waiting zombie patrons itching for their next hit of transfat.
Blatantly scripted and poorly acted, the ladies wake in full make up and the family members recite lines, provide convenient exposition and even seemingly re-enact events to different camera angles.
A dull yet overwrought and bloated affair, Miss Robbie in particular seems to be quite full of something: which is either a dangerously inflated ego or - given the state of the food and the nasty odour hanging over this production in general - a serious bout of gas.
Watch the Soul Food Family on Discovery Channel on Sundays at 18h10, dealing death, one plate at a time.