Ashley Parker Angel’s There and Back debuts tonight on MTV

Making the Band, network television’s first reality series, makes a comeback of sorts tonight with There and Back: Ashley Parker Angel. The new MTV series, which debuts at 10:30 p.m. ET, follows Ashley post-O-Town; now he’s “at ground zero struggling to make ends meet,” and living with his pregnant girlfriend’s mother.

Ashley tells MTV.com that he has something to prove with the series. “I came away from O-Town feeling like I had a lot to prove still because of the way that we came together, it was extremely contrived … it was a total media creation and we really didn’t gain a lot of respect or credibility.” And another reality show will lead to crediblity? He says that worried him: “…I don’t want to be looked at as a one-trick pony. I want people to know that I’m the real deal and I was able to go out and get a solo record deal without the power of a television show.”

That may sound a bit cerebral, but remember, he’s broke and living with his pregnant girlfriend and her mother. If there’s any doubt in the known universe that this show will be awesome with a capital A, the New York Times, which had the good fortune of being able to see the first episode in advance, tells us to expect this scene:

… [O-Town member] Jacob Underwood … makes a brief and bizarre appearance in the first episode. With his pet monkey frolicking behind him, Mr. Underwood announces, “I’ve been doing construction,” and he doesn’t mean as a hobby.

There and Back: Ashley Parker Angel [MTV]

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.