Ashley wants to get busy again on There and Back

Last week, There and Back took us from completely absurd moments to, surprisingly enough, the most touching, heartbreaking moment MTV has aired in a while. It was the birth of Lyric, the child of Ashley Parker Angel and his girlfriend Tiffany, also known as the Spawn of O-Town. Would this week’s show leave us close to tears yet again? Or would Jacob Underwood return and drag the series back into irony?

  • The show opened with a mystery, not the new baby. Ashley told Tiffany’s mom, “I know that probably caught you off guard. I thought I had some privacy. There was no toilet paper in the bathroom!” Tiffany scolded, “What you were doing was not acceptable. That’s not normal to do that.” Ashley told her mom, “I’m so sorry you had to see that.” As Tiffany said, “he [was] wiping the butt in the kitchen” with a paper towel, having walked his poopy ass to the kitchen when he ran out of toilet paper.
  • Scene two and still no baby. Instead, Tiffany was on the phone with an unnamed company, and she proceeded to make consumer advocates proud. While the producers found it necessary for Ashley to interrupt her tirade with one of his break-out monologues that he uses to complain about her behind her back, this was one of her finest moments. Her conversation is worth repeating in its entirety because it was so spectacular:
    “Hi, Andrew, this is Tiffany. I’m calling about the chair. Yeah, well, I’m getting really pissed, okay? I ordered the chair in May and my baby’s already here. My baby is going to be walking by the time you give me the damn chair. When exactly is it coming? What do you mean you don’t have a date? I’ve paid for this chair. You’re going to deliver the chair to me, or you’re going to refund every single last dime of my money. You’re going to give me a refund and you’re going to give me the chair. How do you like that? Because, you know what, I’m a customer and I don’t appreciate being treated like this. I have decided now that I am call you every single day and I’m going to bitch at you every day until you send my chair to my house. Every single day. And I might even call a few times a day. So, I suggest that you get some answers for me, about where the chair is, about when I’m going to get this chair. Any time, Andrew, because I am here all day long. Yeah, okay.”

  • Despite her brilliant performance, Tiffany started crying after hanging up the phone, upset because she wouldn’t be able to sit with her son in the chair. Ashley asked, “Do you want me to start calling?” She swatted that idea down. “No, because they’ll tell you something, and you’ll be like, “Okay.” Then Ashley volunteered to make dinner for her in what sounded like a fake voiceover. What a nice fake gesture.
  • “More importantly, today’s the day we find out if we can have sex,” Tiffany said about their visit to her doctor. When Ashley challenged her candidness in front of her mother, she said, “For goodness sake, you wipe your butt in front of Mom.” Ashley then told Tiffany and Mom the extend of his condition: “Do you know how long it’s been? I’m turning into an asexual at this point.”
  • Talking about the possibility of having sex, the doctor told Tiffany, “You may still be a little worried because you’ve had the baby and some stitches down there.” Holy god.
  • After the doctor left and gave the thumbs-up, Ashley wanted “a quickie” in the exam room. At least their might be condoms nearby this time.
  • “Tonight we end the dry spell,” Ashley said, marching down the hallway proudly in his pajama pants. And there was Tiffany: asleep.
  • “Babe? Tiff?” Ashley said, but it was no use. He switched off the light; luckily, the nightstand held both a box of Kleenex and a roll of toilet paper.
  • “That is a fucking hit song,” Ashley said after laying down a new track, and maybe it’s just the fact that I was reared on top-40 radio, but it’s hard to disagree.
  • The baby! Finally, we meet Lyric, at least when he’s not covered with blood and uterine stuff.
  • “Date night slash get-it-on night,” Ashley said to Tiffany. From two rooms away, her mother sat in a chair and giggled, “Nice talk, Ash.” Reason number 1,251 to not move in with your girlfriend’s mother: She’s constantly there to mock you.
  • It’s awesome that Ashley is tight with Tiffany’s mom, but I just can’t get over the way he calls her “Mom.” I keep looking for his mom.
  • “I made you this nice romantic dinner, and that’s all you can think of, penis-head,” Tiffany said when Ashley suggested they go up stairs to get busy. Then she did the dishes, really, while Ashley went upstairs to brush his teeth and spray himself with cologne. “You brushed your teeth! Penis head!” Tiffany said.
  • As they made out, Tiffany said, “I feel like it’s all new all over again.” Cue the baby monitor and Lyric’s crying. You can’t write this shit. Or maybe a producer was scaring the baby just to make the scene more dramatic.
  • Okay, wow, it was fake: Ashley totally set up the whole thing, including the fake-crying. Because Lyric was sound asleep in his crib, wearing an engagement ring around his neck and a shirt that Ashley had made that said, “Will you marry my Daddy?”
  • Yet again, the show ends on a cheesy but impossible-not-to-fall-for moment. Even Lyric was grinning, and I don’t even think he has fully developed facial muscles.

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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.