This show was written in such a way that there was just as much happening in the text as their was in the subtext. The perfect amount of bonus features.
I Dream of Jeannie: The Complete First Season is one of those shows that probably couldn't get made today. To have a show predicated on the idea that an astronaut (Larry Hagman) finds a genie named Jeannie (Barbara Eden) in a bottle, and then this motif carries on for five years just doesn't sound plausible. However, this is exactly what happened with this show and we see it's beginnings documented here in this first season set.
I think the reasons why this show worked are pretty simple. First of all, it was actually pretty risqué TV for the 1960s. Granted, film was certainly taking chances but shows like I Dream of Jeannie had to do this in a covert way. More to the point, they had to utilize dialogue and create situations between Jeannie and her "Master" that could be read many different ways.
Secondly, and even more simpler, I think most males in America wanted to spend some time with Jeannie in that bottle.
This commentary track gives us the film's stars and while they are certainly older, and a bit more reserved now, it seems like everyone involved is having a lot of fun looking back at the past. The main feeling I got from the cast was that they knew when they were doing this show, that they were making something that was different. It's also fun hearing them talk about life on the set and what they tried to bring to the characters they were playing.
These feature Larry Hagman, Barbara Eden and Bill Daily. After going through the commentary track, I felt that some of the ground covered here was redundant. Still, I guess that all depends on the order one watches these extra features in. I was actually really impressed with how good everybody looks now. These interviews are great in my opinion because it seems like now, more than I have ever noticed before, TV on DVD has created a real reverential feeling for the past.
1.33:1 - Aspect Ratio. Sometimes when black and white TV shows are brought to DVD, the compression can get a bit pixilated. Also, with older assets it seems some shows have glitches or hits in them. I didn't see anything like that on this four disc set. To the contrary, the only thing I did notice was moire patterns on someone's clothes if they were wearing checkered clothing. Truthfully, I watch these kinds of shows more for their content than for how they look.
English (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 2.0). I was thinking that these tracks would surely have been in Mono 2.0, but I guess they bumped up the quality for this release or they were shot in this way. Whatever the case, I didn't have problems hearing what the characters were saying and furthermore, I didn't even have to adjust the volume on my TV in order to hear things.
Barbara Eden as Jeannie is the cover of this DVD set. Sure there are some pictures of Larry Hagman, but he is clearly not the master of this cover. It also has the same colors as the main outfit Jeannie wore. The back cover features some shots from the show, a description of what the episodes are about, a "Special Features" listing and technical specs. All four discs are economically housed in this set which features episode listings and descriptions. For a four disc, thirty episode set they have really managed to help conserve shelf space with this release.
I really enjoyed watching I Dream of Jeannie: The Complete First Season. I have always had a cursory understanding of this show, but I had never sat down and focused on it with such a concentrated effort as I did here. I was really impressed with the writing. I think that the people behind it really went out of their way to make a show that was saying something. Oftentimes, I know that people don't give much credence to shows in black and white. The term I hear used most often is "plastic." I think that while I Dream of Jeannie does play lightly, it does that on purpose to mask just how cutting edge it really was.
I Dream of Jeannie was released .