Backyard Oil

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Backyard Oil TV Poster Image
Oil digging reality is mild, but not much to interest kids.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Generally reinforces hard work, humor, and persistence.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Most drillers are hard workers, but the contractors and land owners are driven by the desire to make fast, big money. Some folks are flashy with their cash; others are more down-to-earth.


Some drillers argue that striking oil is better than sex. A landowner talks about getting plastic surgery on her breasts and butt if they find oil on her land.


The word "hell" is audible on occasion; "s--t" is bleeped.


The Chevy logo is clearly visible; logos for Buick, Rolls-Royce, Caterpiller, etc. aren't prominently displayed.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Beer consumption and cigarette smoking is visible.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Backyard Oil is a lighthearted docuseries that shows the highs and lows of oil drilling in Kentucky. While workers and landowners use a bit of bleeped language and make a few mild references to sex, the show is generally mild, though kids won't likely be interested.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

BACKYARD OIL is a reality series that follows Appalachian oil men as they look to make it rich by finding crude oil in the hills of south central Kentucky. The series follows a handful of drilling contractors, including self-professed hillbillies John Rascal, a father-son team known as the Page boys, and Jimmy Riliford, who, along with his sidekick Mad Dog, are looking to make millions by finding the perfect locations to drill. While folks like Travis Coomer strike oil twice by drilling in their own back yard, others find themselves investing time, equipment, and cash into digs that yield nothing but water. It's a gamble, but one that can yield major results if luck is on their side.

Is it any good?

Backyard Oil offers a lighthearted, but interesting look at the way local oil drillers are attempting to capitalize on the increasing cost of oil, which includes bidding for leases to properties in order to drill, finding the correct spot to dig a hole, and using the right equipment to dig deep into the ground. The way landowners and oil contractors make (and lose) money off of these digs is also revealed.

There's a lot at stake, but the series contains lots of witty moments thanks to some colorful personalities. Watching folks use their particular methods for choosing drilling spaces, which range from using prayer to dowsing sticks (that pick up vibrations and lead you to wells), can be entertaining, too. But it also shows how much skill and luck is really necessarily in order to strike it rich.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about reality shows. What is the appeal of reality series that feature people doing specific jobs? Do you think these shows make some jobs seem more exciting than they really are? How do they do this?

  • Why do you think the folks who do these jobs agree to appear on reality shows? Money? Attention? Or to teach people a little bit more about what they do?

TV details

Our editors recommend

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate