Among the new series that premiere this fall, "Blood & Oil" is one of the most anticipated. Why, you ask? Well, the new ABC drama series has all the ingredients that make TV an entertaining experience. Throw in hard work, perseverance, a pursuit of the American dream and depict them all in the oil wells of North Dakota, and you have "Blood & Oil."
Executive producers, Josh Pate and Rodes Fishburne's newest show has roped in a stellar cast as well. "Gossip Girl" alum Chace Crawford stars alongside Rebecca Rittenhouse. Other main characters include Don Johnson, Scott Michael Foster and Amber Valletta.
"Blood and Oil's" plot revolves around Billy (Chace Crawford) and Cody (Rebecca Rittenhouse), who travel to Rock Springs, North Dakota in order to materialise their dreams of opening a laundromat. However, things go awry when their pickup truck meets with an accident and their equipment gets thrown on an oil field.
Instead of buying new washers and dryers, Billy meets with a rich family that is feeding off the oil wealth in the region. Hap Briggs (Don Johnson), his wife Cara (Amber Valletta) and their devious son Wick (Scott Michael Foster) are introduced. Billy struggles to find his place, jeopardises his marriage and is perhaps doomed.
The pilot episode of the series premiere can be live streamed here.
Here's what critics have to say about "Blood & Oil"
If "Blood & Oil" tries merely to work Shakespearian family dynamics, it may have a hard time; there's another show already doing that, better and more sexily, called "Empire." Merely dusting off the "Dallas" template is also unlikely to be good enough — TNT's "Dallas" reboot petered out last year after three seasons.
But if the series finds a way to capture the fascinating sociological experiment going on in North Dakota, where the Wild West is meeting the 21st century, and if it starts running its scripts through a cliché-cleansing machine, it should be worth sticking with awhile.
Admittedly, ABC has done pretty well, if not always struck black gold, with this genre of soap, and Johnson has gracefully aged into the patriarch role. The negatives would be the absence, at first blush, of another character with much breakout potential, although keep an eye on "Revenge" alum Amber Valletta as Hap's equally steely wife.
Still, if Oil isn't explosive, it also isn't repulsive, which this season is a bigger achievement than you might hope. Mix two appealing young stars with two old pros like Johnson and Delroy Lindo (who has too little to do in Sunday's premiere) and you have the bare bones, at least, of a show that has a shot at finding an audience.
It's up to the very pretty landscape photography (lots of mist-strewn and buffalo-bedecked vistas), as well as the old pros among the cast to pick up the slack. Johnson brings his usual rakish menace and charm (he's one of the few reasons you could see returning each week). Delroy Lindo pops up for a too-brief scene as the town's intimidating, and highly pro-alcohol, sheriff (he'll hopefully get more to do as the series progresses). And veteran performer Barry Corbin — who memorably played Tommy Lee Jones' wheelchair-bound uncle in No Country for Old Men — steals all his scenes as the crotchety rancher who hard-bargains with Billy for that valuable parcel of land.
"Blood&Oil" premiers on Sunday, 27 September at 9pm on ABC.
You can watch the trailer here: