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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.

Filtering by Tag: albie's consulting business

Manzo'd With Children Season 3 Finale - Startling Surprises

Glenn Rowley

caroline-manzo-lump

This week on the season finale of Manzo'd With Children, the party for Albie's thirtieth birthday turns into the setting for major confrontations between both Al and Vito and Chris and Albert. Plus, Caroline receives a diagnosis from her health scare and shocks the family with the news. Read on for a full recap of all the family drama...

manzo-brothers

Still high off his success as a children's book author, the finale kicks off with Chris Manzo pulling up to the Manzo mansion in his brand new, bright orange car. Does a lavish purchase get any more typically Chris Manzo than that? Didn't think so. All Caroline Manzo can do is shake her head and laugh - though inside she's mighty proud that her youngest was able to make this kind of investment with money he's earned completely on his own. Turning her attention to Albie Manzo, who came along for the ride, the Manzo matriarch reminds her oldest son that the big 3-0 is just a few days away. She also surprises him with the news that she's taken it upon herself to put together a small waterfront party at La Marina to celebrate Albie's big milestone. What the boys don't know is that planning the party is Caroline's way of distracting herself from the dreaded wait for her test results to come back about the lump in her breast.

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The next day, Caroline and Albert have a heart-to-heart in their backyard garden. Fulfilling the promise she made last week, the Manzo matriarch unveil's Christopher's plans to move to her husband in an attempt to pave the road for a conversation between father and son. Albert agrees with Caroline that they can't hold Chris back from going after his dreams, but warns that his youngest son may not like to hear what he really has to say on the matter. Albert is still of the opinion that everyone in the family should want to stay together, and the idea that Chris would want to pack up and leave isn't sitting well with him. 

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Meanwhile, Albie's distracting himself from the drama with his brother-in-law by clinching another deal for his business consulting company. This time, Albie's set his trainer Roderick up for a meeting at Eat Clean Bro to pitch the idea of a meal prep service to go along with his Core Rhythm Fitness workout brand. At first, the Eat Clean Bro executives are wary of letting someone else come in and use their business infrastructure but when they hear that Roderick's clientele would be adding 1000 meals per day to their production, you can practically see the dollar signs in their eyes. This is the first official deal Albie has locked down for his fledgling consulting business and now he's ready to go into turning thirty with some upward momentum. 

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On the day of Albie's birthday party, everyone in the Manzo family is nervous. Vito's nervous to see Albie for the first time since their blowout fight, Chris is nervous about telling his father he wants to move and Caroline is nervous about getting the results of her final ultrasound. So nervous, in fact, that the normally tough-as-nails mom breaks down in tears in Albert's arms as she waits for the results. Just as she lets herself start contemplating the possibility of her family going on without her, the doctor calls with the results she's been waiting for all these weeks...

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Cut to Albie's 30th birthday bash in Upper Manhattan. The whole gang shows up dressed to the nines and one confrontation after the other is on the party's itinerary. First up is round two of Vito vs. Albie. The brothers-in-law haven't spoken to each other since Vito's spiral caused a huge fight between them over the deli business deal, and Vito is finally ready to apologize. Admitting he wasn't thinking about all the effort Albie put into securing the pitch meeting for him in the first place, Vito own his part of the argument. At the same time, Albie confesses that it was selfish of him to push Vito into the deal if he didn't feel ready and next thing we know, the besties turned brothers-in-law have made up and hugged it out. On the other side of the party, Chris finally broaches the subject of moving with his father. Albert beats him to the punch by explaining he already knows what his son is thinking. Chris reveals that he's considering New Orleans as a possible option and while Albert is far from overjoyed at the prospect, he won't hold Chris back. That being said, he also wouldn't be surprised if Chris only lasted six months away from his family back in Jersey. Plus, what will Chris moving mean for Manzo'd Season 4?

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As the party winds down, Caroline and Albert gather Albie, Chris, Lauren and Vito for a surprising and somber family meeting. Caroline breaks down almost immediately, revealing through tears everything about the lump she found in her breast before the family went to San Francisco. This bombshell sends the kids into a panic - particularly Lauren, who turns to her brothers with a distressed "I told you something was wrong." However, the scare has a happy ending. Caroline got the results of her second ultrasound just before the party, and it turned out to be nothing more than an infection. Caroline not sick, and she's not going anywhere. Thank goodness the Manzo matriarch is healthy, with a new perspective on just how important it is to appreciate the life you have while you're living it.

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If you thought that was the happy end of the finale, the Manzos have one last surprise up their proverbial sleeve. Cut to two months later and Lauren's got big news: she's pregnant! That's right, Caroline is going to be a grandma! Obviously, the Manzo mama is over the absolute moon about this development; it's everything she's ever wanted since Lauren and Vito started dating. And with that, Season 3 of Manzo'd has officially come to an end. Personally, I enjoyed this season much more than I anticipated. As I live-tweeted during the finale, the show this season represented real life and real family moments, people. Do you want to see the Manzos back next year for Season 4? Let me know in the comments!

Manzo'd With Children Ssn 3/Ep 9 - Holy Bologna!

Glenn Rowley

manzod-with-children-recap

This week on Manzo'd With Children, the Manzo boys are turning their momentum into success as Chris holds a book signing and Albie sets up a pitch meeting for Vito's new business venture. But when bombshells and roadblocks threaten to disrupt the celebrations, can Caroline hold everyone together? Read on for a full recap of this week's family drama...

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Everything's coming up roses for Chris Manzo, who's holding his very first book signing for Oliver Brightside at his hometown bookstore. Several familiar faces are in the crowd for Chris's big day, including the whole Manzo clan, Jacqueline Laurita's daughter Ashlee Holmes and RHONJ newbie Dolores Catania and her gorgeous son Frankie. Naturally, Caroline Manzo is beaming with pride over her son - the author! - and Chris is absolutely in his element reading his book to a rapt audience of kids. Now that Oliver Brightside is a bonafide success, Chris is aiming his sights higher...and further than the Jersey roots he's always known.

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After a celebratory barbecue back at the Manzo house (where Ashlee admits she was nervous to tell Lauren Manzo she was accidentally pregnant), Chris decides to finally have the difficult conversation with his mother about everything that's been weighing on his mind lately. He's considering either Nashville or New Orleans as an option for finding new and different life experiences, but when he tap dances around the news, Caroline calls him out and essentially forces his hand. Chris finally admits he's thinking of moving and while Caroline is obviously less than enthusiastic at the idea of her youngest leaving, she ultimately gives him her support in whatever decision he makes. Of course Caroline will be heartbroken if any of her kids leave New Jersey, but she also refuses to hold them back from going after their dreams. 

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Meanwhile, Albie Manzo has set up a huge opportunity for Vito Scalia to pitch his deli idea to a potential angel investor. The Manzo son-in-law is anxious to use all the new skills he picked up in etiquette class a few weeks back, but when the meeting starts, Vito immediately proceeds to knock his chair over while greeting Eric, the potential investor. That's one way to break the ice... However, once Vito actually starts pitching his idea, he's pretty impressive as he explains his idea for an old-school, authentic deli that offers the very best Italian sandwich in NYC. The investor is into it and asks the big question: how much capital would Vito need to start his new business? The answer is a cool million dollars, at which Eric hardly blinks an eye. He's officially intrigued and the meeting ends on a positive note with the promise of more follow-up in the future. Score one for Albie and Vito!

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At the same time, Caroline and Chris pay a visit to the Wayne Public Library to hunt for a copy of the latter's book in the children's section. As Caroline pulls two copies of Oliver Brightside from the "M" section, it's yet another proud moment between mother and son. Just a year earlier, they had stood in that very same spot in the library and imagined what it would feel like to see Chris's name on the front cover of a book there. What a journey from reading books in the library as a kid to where Chris is now. Caroline's son, the author! Promising to help lay the groundwork for Chris's conversation with his dad about moving, Caroline encourages him through tears to "blaze [his] trail" and follow his dreams wherever they take him - as long as he remembers to call home. 

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Arriving home from their meeting in NYC, Albie proceeds to excitedly tell Caroline about just how great everything went...until it all goes blows up in his face. During the car ride back, Vito has inexplicably had a change of heart triggered by the amount of traffic on the FDR. Huh? Before Albie can wrap his head around what's happening, Vito is mentally spiraling that he's not ready to take such a big risk with everything else going on in his life and wants to cancel the whole deal. Obviously, this bombshell gets Albie all kinds of upset since he's the one who made the connection for Vito in the first place through is budding consulting business. And Albie has a right to be upset. After all, it's not every day someone puts a million dollars out on the table as investment in a business idea. The conversation turns into a screaming match between the brothers-in-law with Albie eventually storming out of the room to figure out how to take apart the whole deal.

What did you think of this week's Manzo'd? Will Chris really leave New Jersey? Should Albie be angry with Vito? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

Manzo'd With Children Ssn 3/Ep 6 - For Better or Worse

Glenn Rowley

manzod-with-children-recap

This week on Manzo'd With Children, an opportunity for Caroline gives the family an excuse to plan a trip to the West Coast. However, Lauren gets angry when Vito doesn't want to go and a sudden health scare for Caroline may sideline all the fun. Read on for a full recap of this week's family drama...

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The episode kicks off with Chris Manzo going on yet another completely random adventure in the name of research for his next children's novel. This time, he's enlisted sister Lauren Manzo for a kendo class in Harlem, otherwise known as the art of Japanese fencing. In her confessional, Lauren explains that this is totally something she and Chris would do together. Ya know, since they're the fun siblings who just like to go with the flow and do crazy stuff. Now, I for one don't think of the adjectives "fun" and "easy-going" when I think of Lauren Manzo, but maybe I just don't know her well enough after watching her on my TV screen for almost eight years. Also, the further Chris gets into this research phase, the more convinced I become that he's using it as an excuse to get his family to try the strangest things he can think of.

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Meanwhile, Caroline Manzo is all business, since Albie Manzo has set up a pitch meeting with the local Foodtown about selling her soaps. The genius of Caroline's business model is that she buys every single ingredient for her bath bombs, soaps and shower bombs in the aisles of the grocery store and now wants to sell it back to them as retail product. Albie does most of the talking in the meeting with the Foodtown manager, selling his mom's products so well that she can just sit back and stay humble about her newest enterprise. Since the store doesn't sell anything like handmade, custom soaps, the manager promises to think about the offer before making a final decision.

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The good news keeps coming for Caroline! Over dinner that night with the kids, she reveals that her dream of doing a talkshow somewhere has come true: she's been asked to fly out to LA to guest co-host the (now-cancelled) chat fest, FABLife. (Which, if you remember, is the extremely Housewives-friendly daytime lifestyle show hosted by Tyra Banks, Joe Zee and Bravo super-fan Chrissy Teigen. Since the show films in California, Caroline proposes they make a family trip of it and all go to LA together. Lauren is quick to point out that the trip lands on her birthday, and the princess promptly suggests they go a day early to visit buddy Greg Bennett in San Francisco. Vito Scalia, however, is on the fence about taking more time off to go to California when he just piggybacked onto the Manzo man trip to Vegas. This, of course, infuriates Lauren and the conversation spirals into bickering between the husband and wife over Vito's inability (or unwillingness) to spend time with Lauren. 

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Later, the flood of good news comes to an abrupt and frightening stop when Caroline discovers a lump on her breast while she's getting ready for bed. Consulting with her husband Albert Manzo in her robe, the Manzo matriarch reveals that the lump happens to be in the same breast she had biopsied 20 years earlier. In an attempt to calm her fears, Albert tells Caroline not to jump to conclusions or worry to much. After all, the biopsy two decades ago turned out to be benign, so there's no reason to assume the worst. However, he calls a doctor friend right then and there to set up an appointment to get the lump checked out. In the meantime, Caroline vows not to say anything to the kids or anyone else because it would just create unnecessary worry. 

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After the kids have a sibling night out in an attempt for Albie and Lauren to bond (they have a weird relationship ok?), Albie meets with his mom for a follow-up meeting with the Foodtown manager. It's more good news! Even though there's no real precedent for the product, the grocery store has decided to go into business with Caroline and sell her soaps! Now Albie has to come up with packaging, a pricing model and an actual brand for the product. But while Caroline should be over the moon at this latest development, the lump is at the forefront of her mind and she has bigger things to worry about than selling soap.

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Lauren is still angry over her argument with Vito and has resorted to giving her husband the silent treatment. Even when Vito tries cracking jokes and coaxing an "I love you" out of his wife, she responds with a curt "don't talk to me." In Lauren's mind she cannot understand why her husband of just a few months would be resistant to going to California for her birthday, but Vito reminds her that he's working at the deli every day for the sake of their future. Still, this isn't a good enough excuse for the birthday girl and she will remain mad until Vito gives in and comes on her birthday trip.

caroline-manzo-health

A few days later, it's time for Caroline's doctor's appointment and the usually stoic mom is wracked with nerves. As Albert explains in the couple's joint confessional, Caroline is the rock of the Manzo family and if something happened to her, it might as well be happening to Albert too. Rather sweetly, his voice cracks with emotion as he explains how unimaginable his life would be without her by his side. As they walk hand in hand to the car to drive to the doctor's office, it's clear that Caroline and Albert Manzo's love will be able to get them through anything that will come in the future, health-related or otherwise.

What did you think of this week's Manzo'd? Should Lauren be angry with Vito? Are you worried about Caroline's health? Let me know in the comments!

Manzo'd With Children Ssn 3/Ep 5 - Newlywed Games

Glenn Rowley

manzod-with-children-recap

This week on Manzo'd With Children, it's a twist on the newlyweds game when Lauren and Vito switch jobs for the day. Plus, Albie works to grow his consulting business and Caroline comes up with her next goal to accomplish. Read on for a full recap of the hijinks and hard work...

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Albie Manzo's in the consulting business, people. In order to get his new company up and running, the eldest Manzo child is consulting for a number of different start-ups specializing in everything from skincare and pet supplies to poultry farming. The catch, though, is that Albie doesn't get paid as a consultant until these start-ups are successful, so it's crunch time to sign as many clients as possible. One of those clients looks to be Albie's own personal trainer, whose gym, Core Rhythm Fitness, is responsible for Al getting - according to virtually everyone in his family - "too skinny."

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Back at the Manzo house, Lauren Manzo and Vito Scalia are having the classic newlywed debate over whose job is more difficult. Vito's certain that his job at his parents' deli is more labor-intensive than Lauren making girls feel pretty all day at Cafface, but his wife shoots back that it's much harder than making sandwiches. The bickering moves upstairs to the kitchen, where matriarch Caroline Manzo seizes the chance to intervene. If they both think they have it so hard, why don't Lauren and Vito switch jobs for a day? This idea is pure genius on Caroline's part; the newlyweds have been bickering so much this season, it'll them both some good to walk in the other's shoes for a while. Challenge accepted and the battle of the newlyweds is officially on.

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While Chris Manzo has a meeting with his publicist about the success of Oliver Brightside (with a cameo by #RHONJ newbie Dolores Catania's hunky son Frankie!), Caroline pays a visit to Albie's Hoboken bachelor pad to talk business. Since the success of the Sugarloaf craft festival, Caroline isn't sure what direction she should take her new soap-making business in, and turns to her oldest son for advice. Albie suggests turning Caroline's soaps into a legitimate brand and before we know it, mother and son are going into business together! 

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Later, Caroline and her husband Albert get waterfront seats at Chart House Restaurant for a date night, and it turns out the Manzo matriarch has more than soap her mind. Her conversation with Albie has got her worried about where his mind is at with turning 30 and manages to prod Albert into promising to have a little father-son chat with his namesake. Caroline's also started thinking about the next step in her personal evolution, and come to the conclusion that her real dream is to host a talk show somewhere. Could Caroline be the next Bethenny? Or the Italian Oprah? Based on her past success as a radio host, it seems to be a good bet that Caroline would be a hit as a no-nonsense talk show host.

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The day of Lauren and Vito's job switch arrives and it becomes quickly apparent who the winner of the challenge will be. While Vito bumbles through shampooing and blowing out a client's hair, Lauren reveals an innate knack for making sausages and creating sandwich art. She's so good, in fact, that her in-laws Vito Sr. and Denise are about ready to kick Vito to the curb so she can work at the deli full-time. The most hilarious moment of the day, however, comes when Caroline volunteers to give herself up to the mercy of Vito's rudimentary makeup skills. By the end of the appointment, the poor woman looks like a veritable clown and it's obvious Vito needs to leave Cafface to the professionals...

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True to his word, Albert takes his oldest son for an afternoon at the batting cages. During an innocent game of catch, he sneaks in a fatherly heart-to-heart where Albie reveals that growing up, it felt like the Manzo patriarch was never around because of work. In fact, a young Albie even joked that his dad could leave him at a far-off Little League tournament and never actually come back for him. Obviously this upsets Albert to hear, but he points out that he did what it took to take care of his family. After all, they weren't always signing contracts with Bravo and being followed around by camera crews for our amusement. Albie admits that he puts pressure on himself and his success because he never wanted to be the guy who rested on other people's accomplishments, even his own father's. Giving the validation his son so clearly yearns for, Albert claims Albie is on the right track and tearfully tells him he's proud with baseball glove in hand.

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After a long day of wreaking havoc at his wife's salon, Vito returns home to make dinner for a triumphant Lauren, who's basking in the glow of basically being better at her husband's job than he is. Vito's attempt at making a poor man's fajitas is yet another failure in his day, but both he and Lauren admit to an increased appreciation for what the other does and who they married. But before the moment can turn any sappier, they're back to bickering with each other. So I guess in the end the experiment was a win?

What did you think of this week's Manzo'd? Did Vito stand a chance against Lauren? Should Albie put so much pressure on himself? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!