In Blood & Oil, the new Dallas-esque show that premiered last night, we find ourselves thrown in to the fast life of the North Dakota oil boom. Can two small town lovebirds make it big in the booming city?
Let’s bitch it out…
It’s a tale as old as time. Rich oil tycoon Hap (Don Johnson) has a misguided son, Wick (Scott Michael Foster) – where did they come up with these names btw?! – who thinks he deserves the world on a silver platter. Daddy doesn’t agree. Enter young, attractive Billy (Chace Crawford), who’s looking to make it big in the big city. Before the end of the pilot episode, Daddy is taking young Billy under his wing while Wick is out in the cold. But the question is – is it too much for the first episode?
While I was watching, I just kept wondering where the heck the rest of the season is going to go if all this happens in the first episode! I was immensely surprised that the sale of the land and the subsequent negotiations with Hap happen so quickly. Also, let’s not forget that Billy gets the tip to buy the land because Hap’s employee is on the phone in front of Cody (Rebecca Rittenhouse). I mean, she seems like she’s a nice girl and all, but we’re expected to swallow that she heard this loser’s one sided phone call and deduced it could mean a big payout for their family? I’m not buying what she’s selling. I’m also not buying that she didn’t figure out right away that she is pregnant. That is obvious to me from the first reference that she’s feeling sick, and she even went to pharmacy school!
OK, let’s say that I’m ready to buy that Cody didn’t understand that she was pregnant, but that whole super secret oil tip that lands them a windfall is a whole other matter. Let’s not forget that this couple doesn’t have two pennies to rub together, and they’re sleeping in a communal camp parking lot. But somehow Billy puts together $100,000 in one day? I get that he’s supposed to be clever, but this is pushing even my limits of believability – and they stretch pretty far for my old love Nate Archibald (RIP Gossip Girl). We have a history, he and I, and even I’m struggling with this one.
Somehow Blood & Oil all kinda works, though. Billy gets the land, and sets up a meeting with Hap. How? We aren’t sure. But they have a lovely dinner where some negotiations are made. You know, the oil tycoon worth billions plays right in to the hands of the young small town couple who just want to make it big. One would think Hap, or even his wife Darla (Amber Valletta), would be better negotiators considering all of the money that they have. But I’ll take that one too. Billy has what Hap wants, and Hap has the money to pay for it. Maybe he was feeling a little generous to the kid because of his own screwed up kid?
In true TV fashion, Hap takes a liking to Billy and Cody, and a potential season long storyline is born. We’ve got the good kid who works hard and impresses Hap versus the bad kid who has had every opportunity, but threw them all away. Clearly the two boys are going to be at each other’s throats throughout the season; this is too good a storyline not to explore. It’s also one we’ve seen a million times before. I’m hoping these two young actors play off each other well, or else this plot is going to fall flat. (Side Note: this assumes that Billy, Wick and Hap survive the explosion at the end of the episode. Tune in next week, kids, to find out how it all plays out!)
I feel like I’ve been too negative in the section above, so I’m going to do something I usually don’t do in these reviews: I’m going to look at the positives! In order for me to move forward with this show, I need to concentrate on the good things. So here goes:
- Firstly, Don Johnson is back on TV and this role feels like it was written for him. I feel like there’s a lot of room for him to play around in this.
- Secondly, Chace Crawford is back on TV. I don’t think this is necessarily as good as the first point, but hey. He’s Nate Archibald, so he’s got the benefit of my doubts.
- Plus he’s killing that beard.
- I’m scrambling for a third one and this is it: the scenery is breathtaking, even if it seems like a green screen heavy from time to time. I can pretend. If I’m buying all that other stuff, I can pretend that I don’t notice the green screen!
- Why laundromats?! Did I miss this? Is there an exceptional need for laundromats in booming oil towns? I was confused about why these two small town kids decided to drive their own washers and dryers on the back of their truck out to North Dakota, and that this was going to be their successful salvation.
- I’m sorry, I forgot to mention above that Delroy Lindo was in this show… Oh wait, that’s ’cause he legit makes a 10 second cameo with the white moose and then he’s gone, never to be heard from again. Until next week, we can only hope! He has so much possibility, so I hope the writers don’t waste him like they did this episode.
I’m not too sure where I see the season going, which is enough to get me to keep watching. There are some possibilities here, and I’m hoping the writers are smart enough not to take the most obvious route and that they give us something new and exciting to watch. Am I expecting too much? Sound off below with your thoughts on the premiere episode.
Blood & Oil airs Sundays at 9pm on ABC