Saturday, December 02, 2006

TV Review: The Family Restaurant Season Finale

You thought you'd already seen a big, fat Greek wedding? You ain't seen nothing yet.

The second season finale of The Food Network's reality series The Family Restaurant airs Monday, December 4 at 9:30 p.m. with a wedding in the Psalios family. The show follows patriarch Yianni, his wife Kally, their adult children Theo and Dina, and Dina's fiance Chris as they manage the family's Greek restaurants in Edmonton, Alberta.

A Cyprus village wedding has apparently been Dina's dream since she was six, though in the season two opener, it seemed to be Yianni's dream more than hers. In any event, the finale follows the family to Yianni's home village for the wedding of a lifetime, down to the groom's arrival on a donkey. The village preparations and three-day wedding are cut with brief scenes showing how the restaurant employees are faring without the family for their weeks-long trip.

There's an almost melancholy tension built into the series, with the driven Yianni determined to maintain his restaurant empire and the women in the family in particular both devoted to and conflicted by its success. They work long hours, often in separate restaurants, so have little time for a life outside the restaurant.

But as the finale shows, their employees have become almost family - family who weren't able to attend the wedding because they needed to be home to run the restaurants. Though they had their own celebration in honour of the happy couple, they missed quite the party.

You don't have to. The one-hour finale with all the festivities airs on The Food Network on December 4 at 9:30 p.m. and replays later that day at 1:30 a.m., December 7 at 10:30 p.m. and December 10 at 2:30 p.m.