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Spinoffs & Other Shows

Recaps, opinion pieces and analysis of Bravo TV shows including Don't Be Tardy, Manzo'd With Children, Ladies of London, Tour Group, Shahs of Sunset and Southern Charm.

Manzo'd with Children Ssn 2/Ep 9 - Mamma Mia!

Glenn Rowley

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The Manzos' adventure in Italy continues! As the families drive from Sorrento to Positano down the long and winding cliffside roads, Vito comments that Albert sure seems to know how to throw a spontaneous vacation. In her interview, Caroline explains that the trip has been a whirlwind of emotion thus far, what with Christopher announcing he'll be alone for the rest of his life, Albert struggling to come to terms with the impending wedding and Lauren overloaded with wedding prep. However, amid all the moving pieces, the matriarch isn't worried - she's going to make her family have fun if it kills them. 

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First on the agenda is a trip to the beach, which requires a long trip down about a million steps. Caroline's not a big fan of heights (flashback to last season's trapeze incident), so the journey isn't exactly a bucket of fun for her. Once they make it down to the rocky beach, Caroline and Denise immediately start scouting for future Italian grandchildren and Vito gets repeatedly attacked by a mud-slinging little girl. Under the guise of taking a walk, Caroline pulls Christopher aside for a heart-to-heart about his revelation that he doesn't want to get married. Five years from now, he still sees Albie in the chair next to him. Chris explains that there's so much he wants to accomplish, whether it's writing or that stripper/car-wash idea, and it's the time in his life to be selfish. Caroline thinks he's choosing the safe way out, and makes him promise just to never say never. If the wife or kids suck? Well that will be his fault.

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The families head into Positano for lunch, which Caroline proclaims as the most beautiful place she's ever seen. Right as they sit down to eat, Christopher gets an email from All About Kids Publishing saying they want to move forward with the manuscript for his children's book. Even with this good news, he can't let himself celebrate - so many things could still go wrong. Caroline thinks he's scared of being happy and having it ripped away, but that's not a reason not to breathe and simply appreciate the achievement. Cheers to Oliver Brightside! The best part of this is seeing the look on Princess Lauren's face, who clearly doesn't like having the attention taken away from her.

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Meanwhile, Vito reveals that he's been hiding a secret from his family: he wants to venture out on his own and open a new deli without his dad or brothers. He's terrified the news will crush Vito, Sr. but Lauren wonders if the real reason he's scared is because it's not what he really wants to do with his life. Either way, Lauren thinks he needs to tell his dad sooner rather than later, but Vito insists not now.

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The next day, the family visits an old church in Sorrento. Albie jokingly points out that Vito and Lauren could save everyone a whole lot of time and aggravation if they'd just get married here and now. Not a chance says the princess, while Denise runs to the corner to pray to St. Gerard the patron saint of fertility for a honeymoon baby. Vito wants to have a practice wedding, but Albert quickly puts a stop to that "stupid" idea - walking Lauren down the aisle is going to be the hardest thing he's ever done, and it's only happening once. 

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Once the princess announces she's ready to leave the church, the men and women split up for some shopping. Miraculously Caroline and Denise manage to find a baby shop within roughly five seconds and drag Lauren in to look at christening blankets and tiny Italian clothes. As the two moms squeal over a little pair of sandals, Lauren starts freaking out that they're putting pressure on her to have a kid before she's ready and dramatically storms out of the shop in a huff. Denise and Caroline buy some fabric for a future christening blanket and follow Lauren into the wine bar next door to find out what's wrong. Denise tells her future daughter-in-law to stop being such a drama queen (like that'll ever happen) and Caroline insists they did nothing wrong. They're buying fabric in Italy, it's not like they found it in a Jersey shopping mall.

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Lauren tries to throw out the excuse that she's scared to have kids because what if she can't get pregnant, but I'm not buying it. Caroline isn't either, and ends the episode by dispensing her infinite wisdom. Whether it's Christopher not wanting to get married or Lauren freaking out over having a baby, it's not OK to live your life in fear. After all, it's a crime if you spend your whole life crawling simply because you're afraid to stand.