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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: pitch meeting

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.

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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!

Southern Charm Ssn 3/Ep 10 - From Here to Paternity

Glenn Rowley

southern-charm-patricia-altschul

This week on Southern Charm, Charleston is abuzz with confessions of unrequited love and the possibility of a major southern scandal. Could a paternity test be in order to put the brewing drama to bed? Read on for my full breakdown of everything happening in South Carolina...

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The episode kicks off with Craig Conover going to meet his old boss Akim Anastopoulo at his palatial home in Charleston. After last week's tension with JD Madison at the Bourbon Gentry launch, Craig has realized his heart isn't into working for the Gentry Group and he wants to find his way back to the law. As the boss who fired him from his job as a paralegal last season, Akim is the man to go to for Craig to get back on track. However, the famed lawyer's first question is whether Craig has passed the bar exam, which makes the pretty boy balk. Umm...it's been three years since he graduated from law school but no, he hasn't passed (or even taken) the bar. Good news though, he's finally submitted his application. So that's something, right? Wrong. According to Akim, it doesn't seem like much at all has changed from the old Craig to #NewCraig. It's never too late to be what you might have been, though, and Craig's former mentor promises to help get him pointed back in the right direction.

shep-rose

Golden boy Shep Rose is meeting his quasi-girlfriend Bailey Bial for lunch at The Westendorff. However, what Sheppy expected to be a flirtatious afternoon date takes a left turn when Bailey arrives and it immediately becomes clear that she has a wall up. Tactfully and quickly, Bailey delivers the bad news: while she likes Shep "as a friend," she's ready for some serious commitment and that's the one thing he seems to be allergic too. Shep tries to find some sort of compromise to keep their relationship going, but Bailey's not having it. That means no more flirting, no more kissing, no more hanging out that verges a little too close to relationship territory. As she's speaking, it dawns on Sheppy that this is what it feels like to get broken up with...It doesn't seem to be a great day for our boys in Charleston. 

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Meanwhile, Cameran Eubanks drops by her mom Bonnie's house for an important mother-daughter chat. After filling her mom in on the disaster waiting to happen that is her real estate partnership with Shep, Cameran opens up about her meeting with a therapist a few weeks back and her hesitations about having a child. If she was expecting her mom to tell her that it's the perfect time to get pregnant and that she was born for motherhood, Cameran's in for a surprise because Bonnie gives her almost the complete opposite advice. In the world according to Bonnie, it's completely OK if Cam should decide that she doesn't want to have children. In fact, her mom has found many of her friends who haven't procreated to be some of the happiest, most intelligent people she knows. OK, is it just me or is Cameran's mom maybe the low key coolest person in all of Charleston?

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While Cam and Shep bomb a real estate listing, resulting in the termination of their partnership (man Sheppy is not having the best week), Thomas Ravenel and Kathryn Calhoun Dennis bring their new bundle of joy home from the hospital. As soon as Thomas drops Kathryn and baby St. Julien off and introduces Kensington to her new baby brother, he's off to meet the boys for a celebratory round of cocktails and cigars. Over a round of gigantic Cuban cigars, the proud papa shows off pictures of his heir - making sure to point out that he seems to have inherited the Ravenel balls (TMI Thomas). T-Rav also informs his buddies that no son of his will be getting circumcised, arguing that it's unfair for him to make the choice for his child and unnecessarily remove 40% of his foreskin. Again, TMI, but I suppose it's nice to learn that Shep is glad to be cut.

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The next day, Shep happens to be in Landon Clements' neighborhood and drops by for an impromptu visit. After secretly confessing her love for her longtime friend to Cam last week during candle-making class, Landon's full of anxiety about seeing Shep now. Naturally, she's worried about how her confession will change the dynamic between them, but as soon as Shep mentions that he's 100% officially single, she perks up. Admitting that she was a little jealous when he got together with Bailey, Landon finally drops the bomb: she's in love with Sheppy and kinda-sorta secretly has been for years. 

shep-rose-southern-charm

How does Shep react to this revelation? Not exactly as romantically as Landon imagined. As the words come out of Landon's mouth, he actually chokes on the wine he's drinking. As in literally sputters and chokes. His next reaction to the news that his longstanding platonic college buddy is in love with him is "why?" This isn't quite what you're hoping to hear when you confess your love to someone. According to Landon, her relationship with Shep has everything that was missing with her now ex-husband. Shep doesn't know how to feel about this though, claiming that he apparently had no clue Landon felt this way and quickly admitting that the revelation makes him feel bad. After an awkward bit of silence, Shep quietly heads to his car, leaving Landon with only a quick hug goodbye.

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However, Landon doesn't have much time to dwell on this bomb she's dropped on Shep. Lockhart Steele from Vox Media is in town to hear her follow-up pitch for her new online travel magazine, Roam. Throwing on some lipstick and the most sheer blouse she can find, Landon arrives at her meeting ready to impress the editorial director for the media conglomerate with the hopes of getting in touch with some angel investors. Excitedly, Landon shows Lockhart what she's been working on since their last meeting in NYC. She's decided to call the site Roam and has divided it into three basic sections - Eat, Sleep and Play. It's a good idea, but Lockhart is disappointed that the brunette dreamer has brought all of her mock-ups in a paper portfolio. Considering that he told her in New York to develop a prototype for the website, Lockhart abruptly stops the meeting then and there, telling Landon that he won't be able to connect her to any investors if she can't even put her presentation on an iPad. Crestfallen, Landon is lost for words that she didn't blow the tech maven away, but refuses to give up on making her dream happen.

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Later that night, Thomas visits Kathryn and the kids at her home, basking in the unconventional nuclear family he's created with the fiery redhead. Jokingly, he asks Kathryn if she's ready for baby number three, to which she bluntly replies that she'd be ready for a ring on her finger first if that were to happen. Way to go, girl. It's time Kathryn realizes she deserves more from Thomas than just his sperm. However, things seem to be better than they've been in a while between the one-time lovers. They're finally managing to get along and successfully co-parent their two kids without any screaming or volatile fights. Kathryn chalks this up to their renewed commitment to communicate effectively without letting other people (ahem, Whitney Sudler-Smith) get in their ears. Thomas, on the other hand, sees Kathryn's friend Jennifer Snowden as the negative influence in the situation, but either way, both Charmers are dedicated to make things work one way or another for their children. For now, that is...

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In the wake of St. Julien's birth, queen of Charleston society Patricia Altschul decides to throw an all-male dinner party in celebration of what she calls "Thomas's achievement." This is strange for a host of reasons, (least of all the fact that Patricia hates Kathryn), but if the kaftan queen is going to throw a dinner party centered around the theme of "male chauvinist pigs" then I'm in. Shep, Craig, JD and Whitney are all in attendance in their best sport coats to support Thomas, and over a meal of homemade beef stroganoff, Shep informs the table of Landon's surprise declaration of unrequited love. Patricia supports this action of Landon's as "fearless" and encourages Shep to give things a try with his old friend, but the golden boy isn't so sure. Changing the subject to Craig's work drama with JD, Shep manages to get ahold of the bell Patricia rings to call for her butler and effectively moves the spotlight off of his matters of the heart for the remainder of the meal.

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Following the meal, the group retires to the living room and the question of whether or not Thomas is going to get another paternity test done on St. Julien. He informs the men and Patricia that he and Kathryn already had one performed during her pregnancy, but the results were apparently "inconclusive." Huh? How is that possible? Shockingly, Craig pipes up and points out that it's common knowledge throughout Charleston that Kathryn was dating someone else when she got pregnant with St. Julien. T-Rav assumed it was his because of a torrid weekend love affair between him and the redhead, but it's entirely possible that St. Julien isn't actually a Ravenel. Can you imagine? What a scandal that would be! Feeling cornered, Thomas claims that he's getting mixed signals from his friends over what to do, but Patricia rather disdainfully gets the last word as she throws out that this wouldn't exactly be the first time Kathryn got caught telling a major lie. Hmm...I have the sinking feeling that this paternity test issue is not going to end well.

What did you think of this week's drama in Charleston? Do you think St. Julien is Thomas's son? Are Landon and Shep meant to be together? Leave your thoughts and opinions below in the comments section!