Seemingly one of only a few old TV shows that hasn't been made into a movie, "I Dream of Jeannie" was a popular 60's sitcom that ran for 5 years ('65-70) before putting the cap on the bottle and calling it quits. The series focused on major Tony Nelson (Larry Hagman), an astronaut who, in the first season, found a genie named Jeannie (Barbara Eden) in a bottle when he found himself stranded on a desert island during a failed NASA mission. Having let her out of the bottle, he became her new master and, as such, he was entitled to wishes.
Most of the episodes had Major Nelson getting into various predicaments thanks to another idea or wish that Jeannie has managed to make a reality. Occasionally, Nelson would get assistance in hiding Jeannie from his friend, Captain Roger Healey (Bill Dailey). There was also the matter of the NASA psychologist, Dr. Bellows (Hayden Rorke), who always was just able to get Nelson in trouble.
The series was pretty formulaic, but the performances remained quite entertaining, as Hagman and Eden were a terrific match and supporting players like Dailey and Rorke filled out the cast well. The series does look dated at this point, but it's still a lot of fun and most of the episodes get quite a few good laughs.
Some highlights of the first season:
"The Lady in the Bottle" (pilot; Major Nelson gets into trouble when a space mission goes awry; when he lands on a deserted island, he comes across the famed bottle that contains Jeannie), "Guess What Happened on the Way to the Moon?" (Jeannie helps Tony when he goes on a survival mission), "GI Jeannie" (when Major Nelson gets a flirty new secretary, Jeannie makes an attempt to replace her), "What House Across the Street?" (Jeannie tries to make Tony jealous when he won't marry her), "Too Many Tonys" (Jeannie creates another Tony that appreciates her more), "How Lucky Can You Get?" (Roger sneaks Jeannie into a casino in Reno in an attempt to get better luck) and "Watch the Birdie" (Jeannie helps Tony improve at golf, which leads to him being picked to join a General in a pro game.)
Some of the highlights of season 2:
Some of the highlights of this set include: "Happy Anniversary" (Jeannie gets upset when it's been a year since meeting Major Nelson and they're no further then they were when they met), "My Master, the Rich Tycoon" (Jeannie gives Nelson a mansion), "Fastest Gun in the East" (Tony's dream of living in the Wild West comes true), "The Girl Who Never Had a Birthday" (a 2-parter where Jeannie starts fading away due to the unhappiness of never knowing her birthday), "Jeannie Breaks the Bank" (Jeannie puts three million in Tony's account, which he has a hard time explaining to the bank), "My Master, the Spy" (Tony is accused of being a spy when he's seen in two places at once), "One of Our Bottles is Missing" (Roger and Tony must rescue Jeannie when her bottle is taken), "The Incredible Shrinking Master" (Tony is reduced to the size of a mouse, which turns into serious trouble when a cat enters the picture), "My Master, the Pirate" (Tony wishes he was a pirate and Jeannie sends both of them back in time), "There Goes the Bride" (Jeannie finds herself about to lose her powers after casting a spell to have Tony fall for her) and "The Birds and the Bees Bit" (Tony proposes to Jeannie after learning that genies lose their powers after marrying a mortal.)
Some of the highlights of season 3:
Some of the highlights of this season include: "Fly Me to the Moon" (Jeannie hears that NASA is training a chimp to fly to the moon so she turns the chimp into a human), "Jeannie or the Tiger" (Jeannie's wicked sister traps her in her bottle, steals Tony and sends Roger across the globe to keep him from telling her secret), "My Turned-On Master" (Jeannie promises to transfer her powers to someone else for 24 hours if Tony lets her join him at a reception - but Tony is surprised when he finds out who Jeannie plans to transfer her powers to), "Who Are You Calling a Genie?" (after a bump on the head, Genie forgets who she is), "Genie, Genie, Who's Got the Genie?" (a 4-parter that has Tony desperately trying to save Jeannie when she gets locked in a high security safe) and "Operation: First Couple on the Moon" (when Jeannie finds out that Tony may be headed to the moon with a beautiful doctor, she seeks out her sister's help in setting it up so that she will end up going with Tony instead.)
Some of the highlights of season 4: Some of the highlights of this season include: "Jeannie and the Wild Pipchicks" (Jeannie's mother sends a batch of candy with Tony to the NASA office, which becomes a top priority, as it has superhuman effects - but also causes the one who eats it to lose all inhibition), "Have You Heard the One About the Used Car Salesman?" (Jeannie wrecks Tony's car and takes it to a used car salesman to be repaired. He buys it from her for $400, then when Jeannie sees it selling for $1,600, she's determined to expose him as a cheat); "The Indispensible Jeannie" (Tony sends Jeannie away for a week while he and Roger are tested by Dr. Bellows, but Tony doesn't realize that Jeannie has made the house "automatic" and their wishes will be granted instantly).
Other highlights include: ""Is There a Doctor in the House" (Tony can't keep awake, leading to possibly being bumped from a mission. When Jeannie finds out, she seeks out the cause - her mother - for help); "Biggest Star in Hollywood" (the producers of "Laugh-in" want Jeannie in the show, and Roger poses as her manager) and "Around the World in 80 Blinks" (Jeannie sees Tony in space on television with a cold and tries to blink him home to rest, accidentially blinking the commander in instead. Although she gets Tony back as well, she then realizes she can't send them back to space, leaving Roger alone in orbit.)
Some of the highlights of the final season include: "Jeannie and the Piano" (Tony's forced to perform at Carnegie Hall after Jeannie blinks magic into a NASA piano he was playing), "Jeannie and the Bachelor Party" (Jeannie and Mrs. Bellows find out when Roger and Tony plan a bachelor party), "Guess Who's Going to Be a Bride?" (Tony must rush to the Far East to get Jeannie back, even if it means proposing to her), "The Wedding" (It's time for the wedding, but Jeannie can't be photographed), "One of Our Hotels Is Growing" (When Tony, Roger and the Bellowses are informed the hotel they booked is full, Jeannie blinks a thirteenth floor), "The Solid Gold Jeannie" (Jeannie blinks into Tony's decontamination chamber at NASA without knowing she must remain hidden there for 21 days) and "Hurricane Jeannie" (Dr. Bellows witnesses multiple acts of magic during a hurricane that exposes Jeannie as a Genie.)
VIDEO: "I Dream of Jeannie" is presented by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in color in the show's original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio. The presentation quality is perfectly satisfactory, considering the age of the series. Sharpness and detail were fairly pleasing, as the picture mostly appeared crisp and clear. Some grain was occasionally present, as were the occasional speck on the elements, but the majority of the episodes appeared crisp and clean. No edge enhancement, pixelation or other additional issues were spotted. Colors remained bright and lively, looking nicely saturated and never smeary. The first season was originally released in both B & W and Color versions, but the only version included here is color.
SOUND: The mono soundtrack didn't fare quite as well as the image quality, sounding a bit thin at times. Still, for a program from this era, the overall audio quality was reasonably good.
EXTRAS: The first season offers an audio commentary on the pilot from Hagman, Eden and Daily. We also get a short featurette included on that season, as well. In terms of extras not included on the discs, the set does come in a nifty - although somewhat fragile feeling - genie bottle. We also get a set of collectible cards that offer facts about the series.
Final Thoughts: A very sweet, very funny series, "I Dream of Jeannie" benefits from terrific lead performances and mostly solid (especially in early seasons) writing. This DVD set is a nifty repackaging of the prior season sets. Those who already have the prior season sets don't have a reason to upgrade here. However, it's a fun collectible for fans who do not already own the prior seasons or want to give it as a gift to another fan of the show.