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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: trip

Manzo'd With Children Ssn 3/Ep 8 - California Dreamin'

Glenn Rowley


This week on Manzo'd With Children, the family heads to LA to watch Caroline's dreams come true as a guest talk show host. Plus, Lauren's birthday celebration involves a vineyard, a bus ride and one very long zipline adventure. Read on for a full recap of the family vacation...


Finishing up last week's adventures in San Francisco, the Manzos and their friend Greg Bennett hit up Twenty Five Lusk for a nice family-style lunch. Once appetizers are ordered, Chris Manzo decides it's the perfect time to bring up the idea that's been bouncing around his head about potentially moving. Couching the subject in a hypothetical scenario of how the family would react if Albie Manzo were to pick up and leave New Jersey. Unsurprisingly, Caroline Manzo responds with the classic Italian mother reaction of "kill me now. Kill. Me. Now." However, the real shock for Chris comes from his dad, who bluntly expresses just how disappointed he would be if one of the kids wanted to leave the nest. See, from Caroline and Albert's perspective, they've worked hard to create a family environment that the kids would want to be a part of, and having any of them pack up and ship off to somewhere far away would be a sign that they've failed as parents. Yikes. No pressure, Chris.


And with that, it's time for the Manzos to head to start the second leg of their trip, saying goodbye to Greg and San Francisco as they head to LA. It's officially Lauren Manzo's birthday, and Vito Scalia promises he's planned a day full of surprises for his wife (despite having to spend most the day in a large van). In fact, he dares the whole family not to be impressed with what he's cooked up by the end of the day - though his father-in-law won't be holding his breath to be blown out of the water. 


Three hours later, the bus stops in Santa Margarita for Vito's first surprise: ziplining! A 1500-foot-high zipline over the vineyards of Ancient Peaks Winery, to be exact. As someone with a well-documented phobia of heights, this is Caroline's worst nightmare come true. Yet, being the fabulous mom she is, the Manzo matriarch is willing to conquer her fear for the sake of Lauren's birthday. Plus, the mystery of the lump in her breast has provided added motivation that she appreciates every day because, as she points out, "life is for living!" Taking a leap of faith with tears in her eyes, Caroline proves to her kids that she can do anything she sets her mind to, and they each promptly follow her down the zipline.


The zipline adventure is followed by a special birthday luncheon for Lauren overlooking the vineyards, set up specifically by Vito. Points for Scalia! In fact, the scene is vaguely reminiscent of the trip to Napa featured on Season 4 of RHONJ, when the Housewives and their families celebrated Caroline's 50th birthday, but without anyone calling their wife the dreaded c-word in a mysteriously ill-timed phone call. Over lunch, the Manzo kids reminisce about how far they've all come since the early days of RHONJ. Lauren reveals that her real passion in life would've been following in her father's footsteps at the Brownstone, but Chris claims to be perfectly content with how everything in his life has turned out. However, at the end of the day, Caroline and Albert are proud of the family unit they've built - no matter what happens with her health scare, the Manzo mom can't say she has any regrets of not doing enough as a family.


The next day, having finally arrived in LA, it's time for Caroline's big day co-hosting FABLife. For some reason, the daytime chat fest only gave Caroline one seat in the audience, so she chooses to bring Chris with her - proving possibly once and for all that he's the favorite child. Caroline is nervous as the car pulls up to the studio, but this moment is a dream come true for her so she's going to soak it all in and just enjoy the ride. (Side note: while we see a teasing shot of her on the show's poster, Bravo superfan, walking goddess and FABLife co-host Chrissy Teigen is sadly nowhere to be found. You missed a perfect opportunity for a very meta crossover moment, Bravo!) It turns out the episode Caroline is co-hosting is the show's Mother's Day special, which is something she may have a teensy bit of experience in. And she knocks it out of the park, chatting with the hosts, cracking jokes and distilling her motherly wisdom on the masses of daytime TV watchers. Closing the episode, Caroline reiterates her mantra from earlier in the half-hour: life is for living, so you better appreciate it while you can - and that means reaching for the stars, making your dreams happen and living life to the fullest. And what a fab life it is...

What did you think of this week's Manzo'd? Can you believe Caroline conquered the zipline? WHERE was Chrissy Teigen?? Are you ready for next week's super-sized, two-episode season finale? Tell me in the comments!

Manzo'd With Children Ssn 3/Ep 7 - I'm Ovu-Leaving

Glenn Rowley


This week on Manzo'd With Children, the Manzos take San Francisco to visit their BFF Greg Bennett. While Chris contemplates making a huge life change, Lauren's keeping a secret from her mom. But for Caroline, a cloud is cast over the vacation as she harbors worries about her health. Read on for a full recap of all the California adventures...


The entire family is off to San Francisco to celebrate Lauren Manzo's birthday, but she's still furious that her husband Vito Scalia is bailing on the trip. So furious, in fact, that she's barely speaking to him as she packs. When their plane lands in San Francisco and her call to Vito goes straight to voicemail, she jokingly pretends to be an airline employee calling to inform him the plane crashed and his wife is now dead. Ok, not the funniest joke in the world, but her mother has described Lauren more than once as a "bitch on wheels" when she's angry. Don't upset Lauren Manzo Scalia, people. Especially if you are her husband and it's her birthday week.


Caroline Manzo inexplicably happened to rent a castle she found on the internet for San Francisco leg of the trip, but before they can reach the rather unique lodgings, Chris Manzo urges the driver to pull over so he can get a view of the city. Like any good Italian mother, a petrified Caroline stays behind, but Albie Manzo follows his younger brother up the mountainside. Overlooking the city, Chris opens up to his brother that he's been toying with the idea of leaving New Jersey for a fresh start. The youngest Manzo has never truly lived away from his family or been on his own, and with the success of Oliver Brightside, he finally has a chance to make a big change. Albie's supportive of the idea, but before the conversation can get much deeper the boys are summoned back to the car by their panicked mother via a text from Lauren. Classic Italian mom moment, amirite?


Once the family finally reaches their castle, Lauren promptly reveals to her brothers that one of the reasons she's so upset with Vito is because she's ovulating and he's not there to make a baby. Obviously, this is something no brother ever wants to hear from his sister and the boys promptly bolt with Lauren yelling after them to keep the whole ovulation thing a secret. Hmm...any bets on the chances of that? No takers? Leaving the castle behind, the Manzos finally meet up with their friend Greg Bennett, a longtime recurring figure on both this show and RHONJ (even after he moved across the country to San Francisco). In his confessional, Greg points out what a big deal this moment is. The Manzos have never actually visited him in San Francisco - they tend to never stray far from the family home, so a trip across the country is kind of a major event. 


After showing the family around his tiny apartment, Greg is ready to hit the town by taking his old friends to meet his new friends at a hipster miniature golf hangout called Urban Putt. Two t's, very San Francisco. Immediately, Lauren and Greg split off to drink with his gaggle of gay buddies, leaving Caroline, Albert and the boys to mini golf by themselves. Seeing an obvious opportunity, Albie wastes no time informing his mother that despite her slamming shots back at the bar, Lauren's mind is 100 percent on prepping her oven for a bun. Caroline is understandably taken aback and completely baffled by this news, wondering aloud why Lauren would confide in her brothers but not talk to her. Do Albie and Chris feel bad for spilling the secret? Not one bit. As Albie points out in the brothers' confessional, everybody likes spreading a juicy tidbit of gossip, right?


The next morning it's the day before Lauren's birthday and the princess is taking her frustrations about Vito's absence out on pretty much everyone. Good thing she has no idea about the surprise she's in for, because if she did, maybe she would stop being completely nasty to her entire family. As the official start of Lauren's birthday celebration, Caroline's arranged for a tour of San Francisco and the family takes off on one of the city's iconic trolleys to see the sights. Little does Lauren know that as she's cruising past landmarks like the famous house from Full House and Knob Hill, Vito is waiting to surprise her in a jaunty captain's hat. It turns out that surprising his wife for her birthday was the plan all along and good old Vito managed to pull it off. In her confessional, Caroline asks whether the grief Lauren put the poor guy through was worth the payoff. In Caroline's (and any sane person's) view, the answer to that is obviously a resounding "NO," but who can argue with two kids in love. All that matters is that Vito's here now and Lauren can stop throwing her never-ending tantrum.


Saying goodbye to the trolley, the family heads to San Francisco bay, where Caroline's organized an afternoon outing on a sailboat. While Albert helps hoist the sails, the rest of the group divides into pairs for some heartfelt chats. With the Golden Gate Bridge glinting in distance, Chris asks Greg if he's happy in California and confides in his longtime GBF that he's thinking of moving away from New Jersey. Out of all Christopher's friends, Greg is the only one who has successfully packed up and moved somewhere else, and his buddy encourages him to do it now while he can. However, Chris questions how his parents would feel about the prospect of him moving across the country and laments that coming out to them would be easier than telling them he's leaving. This idea is bound to go over well with Caroline and Albert. And no, for the record, Chris Manzo is not gay. 


On the other side of the boat, Caroline pulls Lauren aside for a chat about her big pregnancy secret. Caroline questions why Lauren didn't open up to her about the baby plans, but for a second all Lauren can focus on is the fact that her brothers betrayed her by spilling the tea. She admits she wanted the whole thing to be a surprise to Caroline when she finally got pregnant, and is quite frankly bummed that it hasn't happened yet. In her confessional, Caroline admits that she understands where Lauren's coming from better than her daughter knows: she's keeping a secret about her cancer scare in order to protect her family, and maybe Lauren was doing the same thing for a different reason. Either way, Caroline promises that whenever Lauren gets pregnant, it's going to be a surprise...and a good one at that. Next week, the Manzos' California vacation continues as they head to LA for Caroline's big moment hosting a daytime talkshow!

What did you think of this week's Manzo'd? Should the Manzos be keeping their various secrets from each other? Is there a chance Chris will really move away from New Jersey? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

Don't Be Tardy Ssn 5/Ep 5 - Home on the Range Part 2

Glenn Rowley


This week on Don't Be Tardy, the Biermanns experience even more Montana livin' in part two of their trip to Kroy's hometown. From seeing the field where Kroy played high school football to visiting the ranch he worked on every summer, the family gets a full experience of the life that made him who he is. But can Montana really handle more of Kim's diva antics and craziness? Read on for a full recap of the hijinks and sweet moments in the country...


It's day three of the Montana trip and Eagle Lodge is in complete chaos. While Brielle Biermann snaps selfies with the puppy dog filter, the four younger kids are attempting to tear the lodge down by jumping like a pack of hyenas onto Tracey Bloom and wrestling the chef to the ground. As Brielle points out, this is what happens when Kim Zolciak-Biermann and Kroy Biermann aren't around. The major reason for this trip was for Kim and the kids to see where Kroy came from, so the itinerary today is all about explore the NFL star's past. First up is a tour through downtown Hardin - which includes a courthouse, a jail and a single dentist's office - before arriving at Hardin High School.


The family wanders through the halls of the school and the teacher in every single classroom they stop by remembers Kroy by name. Some have even saved old assignments from when he was a student, including one questionable presentation on date rape drugs...Kroy seems genuinely adored at his alma mater, though he insists that even if he wasn't in the NFL people would still know who he is because it's such a small town. However, it's pretty much a guarantee that teachers aren't asking any of Kroy's former classmates for an autograph, and his status as a real hometown hero in Hardin becomes crystal clear when Kim and the kids stumble upon a plaque dedicated to him in the hallway of the school. Yes, Kim and her beloved wigs are definitely famous, but she's the first to admit there isn't a plaque dedicated in her honor back in Windsor Hills, Connecticut. 


Next, the family shares a poignant moment out on the field where Kroy first played football for the Hardin Bulldogs. While Kroy throws a football around with KJ and Kash, Kim reflects on how far her man has come and how big his dreams must've been as a high schooler on that very same field. She admits that Kroy probably won't realize the importance of this moment until after they've left, but it's still incredibly special nonetheless.


On their last day in Montana, the Biermanns stop by Lammers, a local Native American trading post. Unsurprisingly, the four youngest kids all seem fascinated by the rifles and ammo, but before KJ can talk his way into getting a BB gun of his own, the family heads to the cattle ranch Kroy worked on as a teenager. Kroy's excited to show the kids what his summer job as a kid was all about. From feeding cattle and moving hay to riding horses, the day at the ranch couldn't get the family any more authentically immersed in Montana culture. Kim is fascinated to see Kroy at home in his element and admits the ranch is the best part of the trip, but Wig is ready to get back to her Starbucks. 


Back at the lodge later that night, Kim wonders aloud at how different her and Kroy's worlds were growing up when he gets an unexpected phone call from his agent, Buddy Baker. He's calling with an update on the status of Kroy's free agent status in the NFL. Apparently a multitude of teams have expressed interested in signing Kroy, and now it's just a question of what the smartest long-term move is for Kroy. After all, he's still in the prime of his career, so it's appropriate to be thinking about the long game rather than making a hasty decision to benefit him in the short term. With that abrupt reminder, it's time to get back to reality and say goodbye to Montana.

What did you think of this week's Don't Be Tardy? How much would you pay to see a spinoff of Kim working on a ranch? Leave your thoughts on the Montana trip in the comments below!

Don't Be Tardy Ssn 5/Ep 4 - Home on the Range Part 1

Glenn Rowley


This week on Don't Be Tardy, the Biermanns head to Montana for a peaceful vacation in the two where Kroy grew up. Plus, Kim and Kroy are faced with a serious decision about the future of their family when they have to choose an executor for their wills. Read on for a full recap of all the hijinks and good times in Montana...


The Biermanns are ready for another family vacation - this time to visit Kroy Biermann's hometown of Hardin, Montana. But before they head west, Kim Zolciak-Biermann and her hubby decide to sit down and go over their wills. The documents haven't been updated (or combined) since before the four youngest kids were born, and it's got Kim thinking about the big what ifs in life. Who would step up and take care of the kids if something happened to her and Kroy? Who would manage their estate? These kinds of responsibilities usually fall to family members, but since neither Kim nor Kroy has any contact with their parents, they need another option. After some discussion, the couple concludes that Bruce, the dad of Kroy's best friend and a surrogate grandpa to the young kids, seems like the most logical choice. And since he lives in Montana, the trip is the perfect time to ask him.


Needless to say, the older two girls are less than enthused about taking a trip to Montana. The younger kids may love the outdoors, but roughing it in the wilderness doesn't exactly sound like a fun getaway for the pampered teens. Plus, Brielle Biermann is quick to point out that Kim doesn't really know what she's getting herself into. After all, the town Kroy grew up in is tinier than tiny and the news that the nearest Starbucks will be 45 minutes away in Billings jolts Kim back to reality. Just like Ariana Biermann states in her confessional, no Starbucks equals no happy Kim, which is bad news for the entire family. This should be interesting...


With six kids, a crazy chef, two dogs and tow nannies in tow, the Biermann bunch arrives in Montana and the trip promptly turns into a three-ring circus. Kim is amazed at the beauty of the state's wide open spaces, but Kroy's the one having to educate his sheltered family on the difference between an antelope and a cantaloupe. (For the record, one is a wild animal roaming the Montana prairies and the other is a melon.) First up is dinner at the Montana Club in Missoula, which is the same restaurant Kroy used to eat at when he was in school at the University of Montana. Before they can even order, Brielle announces that she's going to use the trip to "find [herself] a nice Montana boy," but rethinks her decision seconds later when the waiter tries to flirt with her. While little KJ FaceTimes Bruce to show off the crab legs he's eating, Kim's just grateful to have alcohol and mozzarella sticks after such a long day. 


The next morning, Bruce and his family are ready to take the Biermanns snowmobiling to show them something Kroy did all the time growing up. Having only seen snow a total of two times in their lives, the younger kids are positively over the moon about this activity, while Kim's just praying no one hits a tree and screaming "mucho frio" to poor Berta the nanny. Before she knows it, though, Ariana is out of sight on the back of chef Tracey Bloom's snowmobile and four-year-old Kash takes off down the hill all by himself on a (thankfully non-motorized) sled. Luckily, Bruce sprints to the rescue and snatches Kash before he can get too far, but Kim's nerves are completely shot. By the end of the day, however, everyone's had a good time and Kim admits that she sees the appeal of a quieter, more peaceful life in Montana. But no, that does not mean "call the realtor," Kroy.


Back at the lodge where they're staying, Kim and Kroy finally sit down with Bruce for a serious chat. After seeing him chase after Kash on the sled, the couple is more certain than ever that they can trust him to take care of their kids if something were to ever happen to them. Recognizing how much this responsibility means, Bruce graciously agrees to be the executor of their will and the Biermanns finally have some peace of mind about the situation. However, the fun in Montana is just beginning...Next week is part two of the trip!

What did you think of this week's Don't Be Tardy? Would Kim ever survive living in Montana? Will Hardin ever be the same after the Biermann circus has rolled through town? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!