Blood and Oil: Departures

Blood and Oil

Well, that happened.

Blood and Oil was a show that was so terrible that it ended with basically every single main character running away from it. I’m not even joking. Wick and Jules ran away to go have a baby together, while Cody and Billy left town to go fix their horrible marriage. In some alternate universe, they probably all come back to town when Blood and Oil returned for Season 2, but that alternate universe isn’t real. The show is over, and these characters are gone forever. I can’t say I’ll miss them.

My time with Blood and Oil wasn’t incredibly productive. In a universe where I wasn’t writing about this show on a bi­weekly episode I would have bailed out after Episode 3. However, I was writing about this show so I watched the entire thing. Before we close the book on the show for good, let’s just take one last chance to reflect on and commentate on the experience of watching such a dull show. Because I earned that.

1. Scott Michael Foster probably made the right decision in leaving C​hasing Life for Blood and Oil, ​but only because of the quick paycheck boost.

Now that the dust has settled on both shows, we can all look back on Scott Michael Foster’s decision to leave the ABC Family dramedy for the ABC soap. While from a quality perspective, I would have preferred it if he stayed on Chasing Life, because it was the better show (if not as strong in its second season as it was in its first), from a monetary perspective Blood and Oil was the right choice. You make more money as a regular than a recurring figure, and you make more money on a broadcast network over a cable network. From a cynic’s perspective, he did okay for himself. Now, if he can find a really good show to star in next year, we’ll all be set!

2. Billy and Cody definitely made the wrong decision in staying married.

You could say that the hardknock world of the oil business was what drove them apart, but you probably weren’t watching the show because they were terrible at the fundamentals of being married. They didn’t communicate at all and barely interacted until it was time to put a bow on this sucker. Sure, Billy became more of a monster when he went into oil, and Cody became more of a nag, but if two people can’t have a conversation about mutual investments in the show’s second episode than I have doubts on their long term prospects.

Maybe Billy and Cody see a marriage counselor and learn some skills­based techniques to improve their marriage. But this show is over, so they probably don’t and will remain unhappily in love for the rest of their lives.

3. Amber Valetta really got a shit deal by being on this show.

Blood and Oil was supposed to be Amber Valetta’s rise to primetime soap legend as an ice queen to be remembered. Blood and Oil ended up being a vehicle for her to show off her immense collection of riding gear with an occasional break for pretending to look at contracts.

Out of everything that was disappointing about this show, Carla’s lack of spark was the biggest downer. Most primetime soaps need a female anti­hero to center its drama around and to set things off. From Joan Collins on Dynasty to Viola Davis on How to Get Away with Murder to even Hayden Panettiere on Nashville, a soap thrives when it has a central, larger than life female presence. In fact, it’s hard to name a current successful soap that doesn’t have a major female sparkplug. I have no idea how Blood and Oil missed the memo, because they did nothing with its female characters. Maybe that’s the reason why it started tanking so quickly.

4. Don Johnson, meanwhile, made out like a bandit.

Hap is a weird mish­mash of a character that you can tell was weakened by star­producer interference. He beds all the ladies. He’s smarter than everyone. He’s both the biggest bad guy and a moral authority. None of it makes sense, but it certainly allowed Don Johnson to have the time of his life on the show. I should be madder about this because it was at the expense of building good female characters and drama, but it’s too late now. Who cares?

5. It’s better to be ridiculous than boring.

I had high hopes after seeing the first episode of Blood and Oil. Not that it was going to be good, but that it was going to be interesting. The pilot was an amazing trainwreck featuring a hilarious amount of car accidents, a wrestling match in a pit of oil and Scott Michael Foster’s character being introduced as a man yelling at everyone to step away from his moose. There was nothing about it that screamed “Prestige Television!” but it seemed like with the right tinkering it could be a fun Dallas or Dynasty-like clone.

Sadly, that never occurred, and Blood and Oil quickly became a dull tale about people talking about land swabs and geological surveys. Occasionally, there was a long drawn out murder. It’s as if nobody on the staff got the message that soaps are supposed to be fast paced and insane.

I’ll remember the pilot of Blood and Oil because it hit that insanity button repeatedly. I’ll forget basically everything else because it didn’t.

Rest in peace, Blood and Oil. You came, barely anybody saw, and nobody conquered.

Photo Courtesy of ABC

About Kacey

Kacey is well-known (in her own mind) for her amazing ability to sit through her bad pop culture, her endless love for made-for-TV Christmas movies and her endless quest to be the sassy sidekick in somebody's romantic comedy. You can follow her on twitter at @kaceybange and see her other pop culture writing at POPCULTURECRAZY.