“Blood & Oil” doesn’t exactly gush to the top of the best new fall shows. Set in the North Dakota shale oil boom, the ABC show pretty much goes bust when it comes to real drama.
It does hit a lot of soap, though.
Chace Crawford and Rebecca Rittenhouse star as a young Florida couple, Billy and Cody Lefever, who set out to make their fortune in the fields of black gold — in the laundry business. (Hey, even roughnecks need to change shirts occasionally.) But on the way there, the couple loses all their washers and dryers in an accident, looking a bit hapless because they didn’t insure the one thing they were depending on.
It’s OK, though, because they have each other — ah, young love — and figure they will find a different way to make it big in the land of opportunity. While bonding with another couple who share similar dreams in an oil fields’ shantytown, Billy and Cody get a tip about a piece of land that may be oil rich. As it turns out, Hap Briggs (Don Johnson), the power in the local oil business, is also interested in the property.
Suddenly, Billy develops amazing business acumen and shrewdly secures the patch. This brings him to the attention of Hap, who wants to find out if Billy is a real rival.
The oil baron has a son, the slippery Wick (Scott Michael Foster), who resents Hap and stepmother Carla (Amber Valletta). Add an “ed” to his name and you know why Wick is the bad boy. Unlike his father, he is willing to get in bed with shady characters like Jules Jackman (India de Beaufort), the owner of a local bar where a lot of under-the-table transactions go on.
There you have it: the rich vs. those who want to be rich, the entitled vs. those who want to be entitled, the young and beautiful vs. the older and beautiful — all set against a North Dakota landscape that looks promising rather than desolate. (Of course, the series was conceived before the drop in oil prices that undercut the boom.)
So far the storytelling on “Blood & Oil” has been crude and obvious.
Where to watch
What: Drama set in the North Dakota oil boom, starring Don Johnson, Chace Crawford and Rebecca Rittenhouse.
When: Premieres 9 p.m. Sunday.
This article was written by ROB LOWMAN from Los Angeles Daily News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.