"I Dream of Genie" is a hopeless bore; making it an hour long and interesting was too great a task for the producers and writers. Simple, humble and boring bookkeeper George Hanley is played by Howard Morris and he is looking for a simple gift to impress and sway the beautiful office secretary Ann. He goes to a junk shop and an owner jab-talks him into purchasing an old and tarnished Arabian lamp. As one would expect at this point, rubbing the lamp produces a cloud of smoke and a genie. The genie is dressed in modern clothing and informs George that he only gets one wish so he better make it good. Most of the remainder of the episode features George fantasizing about what would happen to him if he married a movie star, was rich or elected president. Given that he does not also get a personality improvement, the results are always unsatisfactory. Finally, in an unexpected twist, George finally comes up with a suitable wish that he can live with. This episode was so dull that I watched most of it one night and when I went to complete it the next night, I could not remember what it was about until I read the box. This is strong evidence that "The Twilight Zone" was simply unsuitable for an hour-long format. "Ninety Years Without Slumbering" is an episode where you get emotionally involved with the ending and you are uncertain how it is going to turn out until the very end. Ed Wynn plays Sam Forstmann, an elderly man living with his daughter and her husband. He is a bit eccentric and his most prized possession is a grandfather clock that he has owned all his life. His granddaughter is pregnant and Sam believes that if the clock ever stops, his life will as well. Therefore, he is up at all hours tinkering with it and winding it. Since the clock will be in the way, Sam suddenly decides to sell it to the neighbors; a solution that gets it out of the house yet gives him the opportunity to wind the clock on a regular basis. Things get complicated when the neighbors are out of town for the weekend and the clock simply will not run long enough for them to return. Desperate to get in the house, Sam tries everything, but is foiled when he breaks a window. The clock finally stops and Sam learns his true connection with the clock, something that surprises him. It is an episode that generates a great deal of tension because Sam is such a lovable character that you feel an instinctive need to root for him. "Ring-A-Ding Girl" is a great episode, there is a great deal of tension and uncertainty and you don't know what is really happening until the very end. Mega film star Bunny Blake is scheduled to depart for Rome to start her next picture but when she dons a ring from the fan club in her hometown, she sees people that live there. It is a small town and the people all tell her that she must return. In a stunning surprise to her sister, Bunny goes back to the town and visits many of the people she encountered before she departed. A large picnic is scheduled for that weekend but Bunny instinctively knows that it must not take place so she informs everyone that she will give a one-woman show in the school auditorium at the time the picnic is to happen. This causes some controversy yet she is so popular that most of the town is in the auditorium when a plane crashes in the park where the picnic was to be held. Bunny is credited with saving most of the people in the town, but while there are hints you don't learn what the real situation is until the very end when the episode is fading out. The ending is excellent and completely unexpected. "Ring-A-Ding Girl" is an excellent episode in that it demonstrated a star that was a small town girl before her stardom yet her loyalty to the town and the people was lifelong and more.
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