"Soul Food" was originally a 1997 film by director George Tillman, Jr. that followed the conflicts, loves and laughs shared by one large African-American family. "Soul Food" remains a genuinely sweet, charming and quite enjoyable comedy/drama with a lot of heart and great performances. The movie was terrific, and execs decided to continue the adventures of the family, focusing mostly on the three main sisters - successful attorney Teri (Nicole Ari Parker), family woman Maxine (Vanessa Williams), and Bird (Malinda Williams) - of the family in a series for Showtime that ended up running from 2000-2004.
The events of the series started up several months after the events of the film. The third season opens with Teri heading back to her old firm in "Tonight at Noon", an engaging episode that also has Maxine and Kenny getting presented with a Best Teamwork Award at Ahmad's school after their relationship has been on the rocks.
The series continues to provide an engaging and intelligent look at the struggles and joys of a family who is there for one another through conflicts and success. The performances are also excellent, especially Vanessa Williams, Nicole Ari Parker and Malinda Williams as the three sisters, who are often the focus of the series.
During the show's run, it became one of the most successful shows ever featuring a mostly African-American cast. The series won a number of NAACP awards, as well as an Emmy nom.
6/11/2003: Falling from Grace
6/4/2003: Nobody's Child
5/28/2003: Sacrifice Fly
5/21/2003: Attracting Opposites
5/14/2003: My Brother's Keeper
5/7/2003: Shades of Grey
4/30/2003: Truth's Consequences
4/23/2003: The New Math
4/16/2003: Life 101
4/9/2003: All Together Alone
8/28/2002: Emotional Collateral
8/21/2002: Big Dreams in Small Places
8/14/2002: Let's Do It Again
8/7/2002: Child Safety
8/4/2002: Stranger than Fiction
7/24/2002: Empty Spaces
7/17/2002: Out with the Old...
7/10/2002: Past Imperfect
7/3/2002: Ultimate Power
6/27/2002: Tonight at Noon
VIDEO: "Soul Food" is presented by Paramount Home Entertainment in 1.33:1 full-frame. The series looked quite good here, with images that remained crisp and clear throughout the majority of the running time. While some slight instances of edge enhancement and artifacting were spotted, the picture generally looked clean and clear, with the elements used appearing in excellent condition, as one would expect from a recent series. Colors looked warm and well-saturated, wtih no smearing or other issues.
SOUND: "Soul Food" is presented in Dolby Digital stereo. The audio quality is perfectly fine, with crisp, bassy music (although some of the music is apparently replaced from the original tunes, likely due to rights issues) and clear dialogue.
Final Thoughts: "Soul Food" the series is a highly enjoyable continuation of the film, with likable characters, solid writing and very good performances. The DVD offers nothing in the way of extras, but good audio/video quality. Recommended for fans.