ABC’s new drama Blood & Oil can best be described as pleasant. The story of ambitious but idealistic couple Billy LeFever and Cody LeFever getting into the oil business with the much more cynical, conniving couple Hap Briggs and Darla Briggs is, at least so far, not especially gripping. It’s enjoyable but doesn’t really deliver on the kind of tense drama you expect from the soap-y premise.
The show has good characters. I found Billy and Cody’s uncorrupted nature to be pretty refreshing. Upon hitting it big, the first thing they do is give money to their new friends so they can start a restaurant. Aside from the two major couples, the show also gives us Wick Briggs, Hap’s spoiled son, and his street smart girlfriend Jules who runs a bar/casino. But, all the plot points are silly and sloppily written. For instance, the major turning point happens when Cody just happens to overhear some incredibly valuable information, then Billy manages to make a power play against Hap Briggs simply by borrowing money and running fast.
The promos promised a real rivalry between Cody and Darla and I hope that happens. They show the most potential to drive the action. The character of Billy seems like he’d work best as a good guy whose idealism gets in the way of his dreams more than it helps them, while Cody could be the character who’s able to be corrupted if it means helping her family.
There’s potential in Blood & Oil‘s premise but to tell an interesting story the writers will have to stop making everything so convenient. At one point Cody is offered a job at a pharmacy. She didn’t apply or sweet talk anyone, the offer just comes to her. It’s hard to feel invested in this couple’s so-called struggles when stuff like that happens. Billy and Cody are immediately likable characters, but the show needs to throw more genuine conflicts their way.