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Oh, the innocent days when the sexiest thing on television was Barbara Eden's hidden navel! In the classic 1960s sitcomI Dream of Jeannie, an astronaut stranded on a desert island discovered a bottle containing a genie--a shapely blond genie in scarves and diaphanous pantaloons! He sets her free, but she follows him back to Cocoa Beach, Florida, where her efforts to serve him only cause mischief and threaten his career in the space program.I Dream of Jeanniedepicted the male fantasy of a beautiful but subservient girl--but this subservient girl was all-powerful and oddly willful in her attempts to serve. It all worked because of the leads: Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman went on to lengthy careers (later starring inHarper Valley PTAandDallas, respectively), but arguably never matched the chemistry they had as Jeannie and Captain (soon to be Major) Tony Nelson. Jeannie, though naive and eager to please, always had Eden's intelligence and steely resolve lurking under her bubbly blonde surface, while Hagman projected a genuine decency that somehow made the potentially salacious situation seem innocent.

Still, the show would never have been more than a knockoff of the similar Bewitched (basically, the battle of the sexes with a magic twist) if Tony's secret hadn't been discovered midseason by his best friend, fellow astronaut Roger (the wonderful Bill Daily, later on The Bob Newhart Show). Unburdened by the need for decency, Roger could be the show's insatiable id, eager to use Jeannie for no end of self-serving purposes. Meanwhile, psychiatrist Dr. Bellows (Hayden Rorke) served as the show's perpetually flabbergasted superego, constantly demanding a rational explanation for all the madcap events around him. All at once the show's storylines--which had previously been dominated by Jeannie's desire for marriage--could wander in any daffy direction the writers chose. The result was deeply silly and utterly charming. I Dream of Jeannie's first season was shot in black and white, so The Complete First Season is available in its original form or colorized (which, though skin tones seem a little waxy, is relatively inoffensive). Also included is a short feature with enjoyable interviews with Eden, Hagman, and Daily, as well as the show's creator, Sidney Sheldon. --Bret Fetzer

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CastLarry Hagman, Hayden Rorke, Barbara Eden, Bill Daily, C. Lindsay Workman
DirectorGene Nelson, Hal Cooper, Claudio Guzmán, E.W. Swackhamer, Alan Rafkin
Genre:  Television
Screen WriterArnold Horwitt
DVD Release Date:  March 14, 2006
Runtime:  527 minutes
Studio:  Columbia Pictures Television
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review by . November 24, 2006
I was so happy when this show was released to DVD because I loved it then and missed it not being carried on my local cable company in reruns. What made this set extra special was that I never remember these episodes being broadcast in color and if the color was added, they did a phenomenal job.    I was never a big fan of Bewitched which I found a heck of a lot sillier. Also on Bewitched I had to hope for the episodes with Serena to see a really sexy Elizabeth Montgomery. Here …
review by . June 06, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
A consistent ratings winner during it's five-season run on NBC, I DREAM OF JEANNIE was written by Sidney Sheldon to be the network's response to the ABC sitcom "Bewitched", which also centered on fantasy themes and a leading lady with magical powers (and which was the ABC network's main ratings winner of the time). Right down to the animated theme song, I DREAM OF JEANNIE aped "Bewitched", which irritated critics of the day, but the audiences loved it.    On the shore of a deserted …
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I Dream of Jeannie: The Complete First Season
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