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I Dream of Jeannie


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#1

jessicajason

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Posted May 6, 2005 @ 2:52 AM

Suddenly Susan , Caroline in the City , and even Whoopi have their own threads here, but I Dream of Jeannie , one of the great classics of Amerian TV, doesn't? That just ain't right. I love this show. (I watch it everyday on TV Land while I'm supposed to be doing housework.) What I really like about it is that on the surface it seems anti-feminist (sexy girl in a skimpy outfit calling a man "Master"), but in fact Jeannie had most, if not all, of the power in that relationship, and not just because of her magic.

Of course, once they finally got married, the whole thing just got pointless.

Feel free to add your 2 cents.
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#2

sunny742

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Posted May 6, 2005 @ 7:44 AM

I love I Dream of Jeannie too. I don't watch it as much as I used to because I've seen every episode one too many times. I used to be obsessive with the show so I have The I Dream of Jeannie book, collecters tin and bobblehead.

What is everyone's favorite episode? I love the one where Jeannie accidently shrinks Tony and the cat is after him. :)
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#3

jessicajason

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Posted May 6, 2005 @ 1:20 PM

Hi, sunny 742. My favorite would have to be the one where Jeannie's magic caused a comedic misunderstanding! LOL! Seriously, I think my favorite is when Jeannie gives up her powers for the day Mrs. Bellows sees her. Mrs Bellows thinks that Jeannie is Tony's wife, but he treats her badly, since all she has to wear is that one genie outfit. She takes Jeannie to her house an gets her a divorce lawyer.

Mrs. Bellows: "Haji?"
Jeannie: "The leader of all genies."
Mrs. Bellows: "Oh, that Haji."
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#4

Damaris56

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Posted May 6, 2005 @ 1:39 PM

I Dream of Jeannie was one of my favorite 60's sitcoms. I always thought it was very funny (especially all the slapstick with Larry Hagman). One of my favorite moments on the show was in the 4-parter when Jeannie was locked in the safe. It accidently got sent to the garbage dump and Tony follows and professes his love for Jeannie while sitting next to the safe. Dr. Bellows utters a classic line: "A man in love with a safe? They don't even have a name for that one!" Hayden Rorke's delivery of that line was so perfect and so funny that I literally couldn't breathe from laughing so much. This series had a lot of funny lines and many of them came from Dr. Bellows' character.
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#5

choochi

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Posted May 6, 2005 @ 2:39 PM

I loved this show as a kid. I really can't take it now that I'm in my 30s.

Tony Nelson? Total Weenie!

Jeannie shoulda dumped his controlling ass and run off with Major Healy!

The safe multi-parter was one of my favorites too back in the day. That and the one where Tony is in Bagdhad or some such place and has to guess what is in a box in order to take Jeannie home. His answer? An ingot of finkillium. I've never forgotten that for some reason.

Edited by choochi, May 6, 2005 @ 2:41 PM.

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#6

cjl

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Posted May 6, 2005 @ 3:46 PM

An ingot of finkillium. I've never forgotten that for some reason.

Me neither. It was one of those 1001 Arabian Knights riddles where the hero had to guess the contents of the box in order to win the hand of the princess--in this case, Jeannie. Tony gave his answer, there was suspenseful music on the soundtrack, and....

....he was dead wrong. The guards moved in to execute him, so Jeannie blinked them back to NASA. When Dr. Bellows approached them in the hallway, Jeannie almost instinctively tried to blink out, but to my amazement, Tony told her to mellow out and stick around. That's when he introduced her to Dr. Bellows and General Schaeffer as his (ta da!) fiancee. And they lived happily ever after. Almost.

Edited by cjl, May 6, 2005 @ 3:47 PM.

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#7

jessicajason

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Posted May 6, 2005 @ 11:47 PM

An ingot of finkillium.


Plus, in the previous episode, finkiliium was a substance that NASA wanted for rocket fuel, and for which they were negotiating with the leader of the rival country to Jeannie's uncle's country.

ETA that I'm so happy people are posting in my little thread!

Edited by jessicajason, May 6, 2005 @ 11:48 PM.

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#8

mrow

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Posted May 7, 2005 @ 1:54 AM

Ah, man, I love this show. Anyways, I think that in order for the show to be entertaining Tony has to be a weenie. A show about a supernatural person who can do just about anything with their powers whose significant other actually made use of the supernatural persons ability to do anything would get boring after awhile. Besides, if someone constantly made use of the special powers of a loved one for their own gain how could we be sure that the person really loved their partner for themselves, and not just because of what they can magic up for them? I think the point of Tony being a stick in the mud and not wanting Jeannie to do magic stuff is so that we know that Tony likes Jeannie for herself.

Hey, in order to help see if my theory is correct, besides asking Jeannie to fix problems she herself caused did Tony often make demands of Jeannie? I remember Jeannie doing a lot of stuff for Tony under her own motivation, but how much did Tony actually ask her for stuff?

... Major Healy is the frickin man. Just had to add that.
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#9

choochi

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Posted May 7, 2005 @ 8:01 AM

I hear you, mrow. The same dynamic was in play in Bewitched and I didn't like Darren either. In that case, Sam should have taken off with the Dog Men from outerspace.

Anyhoo, topic? How about Djinn Djinn, which until recently I thought was GinGin? Djinn means demon or devil, so I guess it fits. My old dog had some, umm, issues with the mailman and my sister used to call her Djinn Djinn. I was always right there with DD when he went after Major Nelson. What can I say, I'm vindictive that way.

Edited by choochi, May 7, 2005 @ 8:03 AM.

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#10

Cheynem

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Posted May 7, 2005 @ 3:36 PM

One made Jeannie's dynamic superior to other shows like Bewitched was in the supporting cast. Bill Daily's Major Healy was unique, someone that understood (but not in a malicious way) what kind of racket he and Tony had going on here, and was unafraid of using it. Hayden Rorke's Dr. Bellows was your Nosy Neighbor character, but Rorke played it very likeably--Bellows was generally very fond of Tony and was just concerned about his strange behavior.
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#11

Lizka

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Posted May 7, 2005 @ 4:15 PM

My favourite episode is the one with the hurricane and the two astronauts that Tony has to talk down, all while keeping his wife's powers secret from Dr. Bellows.

Dammit, that should've been the finale, and not that stupid chili episode.
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#12

nothing new

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Posted May 7, 2005 @ 7:12 PM

You do know, of course, that this show was created -- and most of the episodes written -- by the ultra-prolific Sidney Sheldon.

I think someone (Daily or Hagman or someone) said that they didn't think much of the writing, so they would add lines and bits of physical comedy themselves to jazz things up. I'm sure Sidney Sheldon would tell it differently, though.

I found Major Nelson and Jeannie to be kind of jerky. Major Nelson wouldn't let her do anything, but she wouldn't leave him alone (especially in the first season when she was openly pursuing him and trying to break him up with his girlfriend). Whereas at least Samantha and Darrin on Bewitched had a mutual agreement that she would try to fit into suburban life (and it was Samantha, not Darrin, who suggested that she should stop using witchcraft). They just seemed like nicer people somehow.

Edited by nothing new, May 7, 2005 @ 7:14 PM.

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#13

Mibbitmaker

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Posted May 7, 2005 @ 9:19 PM

Even if it was Samantha's idea, Darrin came off as more of a jerk because he was more all-the-time insistant that she refrain from magic. Even though Major Nelson was similar, he did enjoy Jeannie's magic once and a while.

I've been meaning to start an IDOJ thread for a while, but just never got around to doing it. This was one of my favorite shows as a kid (along with The Flintstones and Laugh-In), and my greatest "guilty pleasure" on TV nowadays. My favorite thing as a kid was the Djinn Djinn episodes, for the slapstick. As an adult, my favorite thing is the cat-and-mouse game between Tony and Dr. Bellows. Whenever Bellows would go into one of his monologues with the Major about how odd he is and how he finds it fascinating to discover what makes Major Nelson tick, I love it.

Among those making a great case for IDOJ being the better show (than Bewitched) is the excellent book Harry and Wally's Favorite TV Shows (1989). The fact that Tony is in the military makes Jeannie's antics at his expense more dangerous - far more that some stupid ad agency (an ad agency in a TV show is a sign of pleasing the sponsors instead of creativity, imho). And Jeannie can be an asset to get him out of trouble when applicable. Plus they mention the same point I made at the end of my first paragraph (I just noticed!)

Plus I agree with jessicajason about Jeannie really being in charge around there. Even early in season one, Tony tries to assert 'king of the castle' status, but Jeannie says, after he storms into his bedroom, "Thou hast alot to learn."

I was going to save my views on the controversies for a later post, but I have alot to say about this show otherwise, so I will.

Btw, my favorite are mentioned above: the 2-parter where they finally agree to get married, and the real final episode, where Tony dreams that Dr. Bellows discovers Jeannie's true identity (this show has misplaced series finales in common with "Early Edition").

Edited by Mibbitmaker, May 7, 2005 @ 9:20 PM.

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#14

CloudyGumdrops

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Posted May 8, 2005 @ 12:20 AM

This is a really fun show. It's way before my time, but I caught a rerun of it one day and I loved it. I catch it on TV Land when I can. I think what I liked about the show was the Genie thing. That kind of stuff intrigues me. I always thought Genie's outfit rocked.

Does anyone else wish Genie and Major Healy would've hooked up? or am I the only one? haha.

Oh, yeah. Dr. Bellows ruled!
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#15

choochi

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Posted May 8, 2005 @ 8:02 AM

Not into Jeannie's outfit too much, but I did covet her bottle. Probably because I come from a large family and having a well upholstered bottle for escape was really appealing.
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#16

SusannahDean

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Posted May 8, 2005 @ 11:22 AM

Does anyone else wish Genie and Major Healy would've hooked up? or am I the only one? haha.


No, you're not. I was always hoping she would see what a cool guy he was and jump on that. He seemed to appreciate her more.
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#17

Mennym

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Posted May 8, 2005 @ 12:32 PM

I always preferred Bewitched to I Dream of Jeannie when I was younger but now that I've been watching them both again I have to say I'm leaning towards I Dream of Jeannie. One reason, as someone else mentioned is the supporting cast was generally stronger (although I did love Endora!!) but mainly I just really have grown to hate Darrin over the years.

On I Dream of Jeannie, Tony never seemed to care if Jeannie used her powers to make her own life a little easier in the cooking and cleaning department. But on Bewitched the minute Sam twitched her nose there was Darren with a sour look on his face demanding to know why she wasn't lifting that barge and toting that bale!! Aargh...
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#18

Mibbitmaker

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Posted May 8, 2005 @ 9:17 PM

One of the things I love about this show is how much it reflected the times (as much as a show other than Laugh-In or the Smothers Brothers did in the '60s, that is). It was perfect that Nelson's career was as an astronaut, one of the Big Things in the '60s. Plus, as I said before, the military setting made his problems much bigger and more important than some corporate job.

The music got more 'mod' as the show went on. The last two seasons especially sounded more '60s-centric. And this show had probably the best TV psychedelic party scene of the times!
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#19

bigmonster

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Posted May 9, 2005 @ 9:06 AM

from bigmonster.net:

Whenever people talk about Jeannie vs. Samantha they always say Samantha was better because she was married to Darren, while Jeannie was nothing but a slave who even had to call Major Nelson "Master". But this is so totally the opposite of true.

First of all, Samantha was a total doormat. Darren wouldn't even let her use her powers. That's like a paraplegic making his wife go around in a wheelchair. Samantha would always go "Way-ul" and Darren would walk around with his big ol' buggy eyes screaming at everyone. Like Samantha couldn't just turn him into a bug and squash him.

Now, Jeannie ruled. And what's more, everyone knew it. She had better outfits, and she may have come off a little dingy but she knew what was what. She put on a good show of doing what Major Nelson told her to do, but she'd turn right back around and do her own thing. And if Major Nelson got mad she'd just say "O Master, you do not mean that" and then shrink his ass and put him in a bird cage til he came around to her way of thinking.


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#20

ubi

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Posted May 10, 2005 @ 10:58 AM

I used to like this show as a child, but now, not so much. I get the impression that Genie is a bit slow on the uptake, if you get my drift. She doesn't behave like a genie and is always botching things up.
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#21

cjl

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Posted May 10, 2005 @ 11:56 AM

In some earlier episodes of Bewitched, Darrin Stevens wasn't so much of a dickweed (pun intended). He could be thoughtful, even philosophical, about Samantha's heritage and perspective on the world, even though he wanted her to maintain a normal, mortal marriage. The character degenerated fairly rapidly, though.

I always got the impression that Tony Nelson was a well-ordered, spit-and-polish military man with the heart of a real maverick trapped inside. (As an astronaut, aren't you supposed to be a bit of a free spirit if you're going to venture out into the wild, black yonder?) So he was simultaneously horrified by the chaos created by Jeannie's shenanigans, and secretly thrilled by the excitement. She turned his life upside-down, but he couldn't imagine life without her either. Hagman played both sides of the character very well.

Jeannie's complete babe-itude probably factored into his attitude, too.
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#22

bigmonster

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Posted May 10, 2005 @ 3:46 PM

Jeannie's complete babe-itude probably factored into his attitude, too.


Dude, she was soooo! freakin'! hot!

Edited by bigmonster, May 10, 2005 @ 3:47 PM.

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#23

mrow

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Posted May 10, 2005 @ 6:50 PM

Yes. Yes she was.

Something I liked about Tony's character was that I could buy him not really wanting wishes, which I think is an important dynamic of his and Jeannies relationship. Sure, Tony probably liked getting breakfast magiced up for him, and the other stuff Jeannie could nod up, but mostly Tony seemed fine with just his job as an astronaut. Of course, Jeannie would always think Tony deserved more, and thats when the wacky hijinks happen.
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#24

Mibbitmaker

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Posted May 11, 2005 @ 6:50 PM

My favorite seasons were the first and last two. I like the first because there was a larger sense of storytelling. Tony finds Jeannie; Tony has been engaged to marry a general's wife, with both her and her father pushing Tony into things he doesn't want, like a Washington job; after a few episodes, they break up when the man who loves her more than Tony recues him from her and the general; Roger finds Jeannie, thinking she's just a mortal; he keeps losing her, only to find out she's a genie; Tony and Roger get promoted to major.

It was so much better when Roger knew about Jeannie; the two astronauts were partners in crime, as it were. And there's something about their captain status that separates (most of) the first season from the rest as much as the black & white and original theme.

Of course, the storytelling is no surprise when you know that the show's creator is a well-know novelist.
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#25

runcible spoon

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Posted May 23, 2005 @ 6:55 PM

I've just read at TV Tome that there's a movie in the works with Kate Hudson as Jeannie. I can't see her in that role but I'm all for it if it gets the show released on DVD.

You'd never know from watching Dallas but Hagman has excellent comic timing. Major Nelson was overly rigid but funny at the same time if that makes sense. Was the psychedelic party episode the one with the hippie boarders and the Russian astronaut? I remember Major Healy playing a bongo at the party. The only episodes I truly disliked were the ones with Djinn Djinn and the entire season that Jeannie spent locked in a moon safe. Okay, it wasn't an entire season but it sure seemed like one.
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#26

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Posted May 24, 2005 @ 7:18 AM

When I was about eight I remember pointing out the errors in the stock footage of spacecraft. They'd show like a Gemini capsule and then cut to three astronauts inside. Nuh uh! (I was a stickler for detail and my father was a huge aviation and space fanatic; I could tell the difference between Gemini and Apollo and I was peeved that the TV people would make such a careless error... but I was okay with the genie-in-the-bottle bit, ironically.)
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#27

jessicajason

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Posted May 24, 2005 @ 3:53 PM

I've just read at TV Tome that there's a movie in the works with Kate Hudson as Jeannie.



Actually, that might not be too bad. Maybe it's just me, but I used to think Lisa Kudrow would make a good Jeannie, back in the early days of Friends. She's probably a little too old for it now, though. Who would be Maj. Nelson and Maj. Healy, do you think?
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#28

runcible spoon

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Posted May 24, 2005 @ 10:36 PM

The average Hollywood exec would cast Ashton Kutcher and Jimmy Fallon as Majors Nelson and Healy, and wouldn't care how the roles were split. I'm not saying I agree with that casting because I don't think either one is funny but I can easily see it happening.
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#29

jessicajason

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Posted May 25, 2005 @ 2:54 AM

Sadly, runcible spoon, I can see that happening, too.
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#30

Anyone Bueller

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Posted May 27, 2005 @ 3:56 PM

I've just read at TV Tome that there's a movie in the works with Kate Hudson as Jeannie.

It has been in development hell for years, now. As the years have gone by, Alicia Silverstone, Cameron Diaz, Jenna Elfman and Jessica Simpson have all been attached at one point or another.
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