I am officially now probably the only person in my family who likes this show. For whatever reason, though, it always seemed to be on. People in my family are not the best at turning off the television sometimes, I guess. Whatever the case may be, I'm GLAD "Jeannie" was left on. I "lazily" began watching it and gradually began liking it quite a bit.
Basically, "Jeannie" is a genie who ended up in the custody of NASA astronaut Tony Nelson. As some TV Land commercial points out, most men with a genie would wish for greedy things like riches and ...probably more than that, but Tony mostly just seems to like Jeannie for her companionship. Jeannie and Tony do have a nice friendship (they eventually get married), but it isn't always an easy one. Jeannie gets Tony in trouble a lot, whether he's with friends, other girls, or even at NASA--particularly, in fact, at NASA, where suspicious psychiatrist Dr. Alfred Bellows always seems to be a witness of Tony and Jeannie's strange antics, though nobody ever believes him when he tries to report what he sees.
Some of Jeannie's tricks make the show silly, dull, or just plain boring. I don't, for example, care for when Jeannie blinks (that is how she gets things done, by folding her arms and blinking) Tony back in time, to Persia (where Jeannie is "from," although she's about as non-Arabic looking as it gets) into some silly situation like making Tony wear no pants or something. Jeannie also has things like a "jealous streak" that make her occasionally downright unlikable. She "blinked" Tony into a jail cell once, keeping him from seeing an old friend, and once wanted to KILL some foreign princess.
However, "Jeannie" lasted for five years, so not ALL of the episodes involved the above-mentioned situations. Many are downright amusing, particularly episodes involving Dr. and Mrs. Bellows, the uptight NASA psychiatrist and his nosy wife who tend to be the only witnesses of Jeannie's tricks. Bill Daily, as Tony's best friend, fellow NASA astronaut and resident womanizer Roger Healy, is also amusing, and I actually prefer him in "Jeannie," to "The Bob Newhart Show." As "Jeannie" and "Tony" Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman are also extremely good--both together (I hate it when actors playing TV couples have no chemistry)and in individual scenes. "Jeannie" may be unlikable when she is acting jealous, but the rest of the time she's bubbly and clueless and has a sort of charm (which is why I don't like when she acts jealous). Scenes where Jeannie ends up doing conventional things like going to the market, buying a dress, or going to the beauty parlor, are some of the more amusing.
As for Larry Hagman, well, I didn't grow up in the 1960's, but if I had, he sort of seems like an actor whose career I would have followed with some interest, even though I'm not sure if I've seen him in anything else. As Tony, Hagman is put into numerous silly and embarrassing situations (I've read about actors complaining about the scripts, which is something I occasionally dislike hearing. I would say Hagman had good cause to do so) from having about every costume imaginable "blinked" onto him, to running around screaming (and cursing? It sure sounds like it) after being "blinked" mouse-high (I personally didn't care for this episode, but I was watching it as somebody was painting the front door and I kept hearing them snickering), and numerous other slap-stick situations that vary in levels of amusement. At first glance, especially in his astronaut's uniform, Hagman SEEMS like an actor who...couldn't pull that off, but he does, and is able to maintain Tony Nelson's super-serious demeanor with it. It is a nice achievement, but sometimes as I watch, I think silly things to myself like "poor Larry Hagman." Tony's still fun to watch, and I especially like his interactions with Dr. Bellows and with Jeannie, as the two, as I have mentioned have wonderful chemistry together. I can very much imagine people speculating as to whether or not they were an "item" in real life, due to how convincing they are.
I think it's the high quality of acting that really makes this show "work" for me. Even in the silliest of situations, the acting quality doesn't lessen. It's just that occasionally goofy scripts that might sometimes turn me off.
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