Ashley Parker Angel and the case of the morning wood

The Golden Globes may have interrupted my regularly scheduled viewing of MTV’s newest guilty pleasure, There and Back, but MTV’s endless repeats and a DVRed recording ensured that we will not be deprived of our weekly dose of Ashley Parker Angel and his funtastic life. Highlights from this week’s episode:

  • Moving into his new house, Ashley saw a big wrapped thing, and shrieked, “Yeah, my O-Town stuff is finally out of storage!” Tragically, it was a large TV, not Dan.
  • Tiffany, Ashley’s girlfriend and the series’ real star, confronted Ashley in the living room. “Mom saw you this morning at the ‘fridgerator with morning wood. … She told me she saw you standing at the refrigerator naked.” Ashley freaked out, in disbelief that anyone was else up at 5:30. “It’s not like she came in the bathroom and you and morning wood. She just came in the kitchen — you’re standing at the refrigerator with a big hard-on getting water.”
  • Ashley told his girlfriend and her mom, “Of course I can handle it. It’s grocery shopping. How hard can it be?” Oh, Ashley. Skipped the day when your teacher talked about foreshadowing, did you?
  • After repeatedly being helped by a very patient grocery store employee (who, among other things, had to explain the difference between white and yellow corn), Ashley said, “This will be our little secret.” Oh, Ashley. Skipped the day when your teacher told you about the purpose of a camera crew, did you?
  • As he left the store, the sliding doors closed in front of his cart. He started clapping, and nothing happened. Then it opened. “Okay, got it! Thanks, guys!” he said, and the store employees probably contemplated opening a vein since a moron like that can be world-famous and have his own TV show.
  • Ashley prepared to confront his soon-to-be-former producers, and his girlfriend gave him his strategy: “You’re going to go in, and you’re going to tell them, in a nice, professional, calm way, that they can kiss your ass.”
  • After jumping out of the frame before the meeting, Ashley said, “The lesson I learned last time around, is sometimes the music business is more about business than music, and that just sucks.” So does weak narration writing.
  • Ashley’s meeting with his record producers played out like a break-up on The OC. He told them, “We had a great personal friendship, and I do feel it was destroyed, I feel it was damaged beyond repaid, and I feel like the way I was treated is unforgivable and I’m just not going to be able to get over it.” One of the producers, Alex Cantrall, said, “We had a great time making this record, man. I picked you up for a year, coming down here, we laughed, joked, we said, this is the best experience. For one year, it was the best experience.” But Ashley wasn’t going to let a few good memories sway him. “At the end of this whole thing, with all of these things combined, I’m feeling like you’re not the right match for me as a producer. This relationship for me is over.” Then, in slow motion, the producers shook their heads, Ashley walked out, and we all shed a tear.
  • Jacob came back to help Ashley build a toy chest. How much do you think MTV paid him to show up? 75 cents?
  • Ashley kept referring to the work with the word “we” even though he spent the entire time in the house and Jacob did all the work. “The project took us longer than we had originally anticipated,” Ashley said. Probably because you were inside watching TV the whole time.
  • He came out at one point and asked Jacob, “You hungry? I can make us really good Gardenburgers. Have you eaten Gardenburgers before?” “Uh, what?” “Have you had a Gardenburger before? As if Ashley had just suggested they go make out in the garage, Jacob said, “I’m not down with that stuff.”
  • “Next time you have a project, think of me,” Jacob said, before driving off in his conversion van.
  • “Oh my god, this is insane. This is totally blowing my mind right now,” Ashley said, as he saw his child on an ultrasound. Mind-blowing indeed: the spawn of O-Town.
  • After learning that the baby had a visible penis and testicles and was therefore a boy, Ashley said, “He’s got the goods. He’s well-endowed, like his daddy.” In what season of There and Back do you think he’ll hit bottom and turn to porn?

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.