I Dream of Jeannie
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this classic comedy series features some dated messages about gender roles. It's family-friendly, but does contain some very mild sexual innuendo (especially mild by today’s standards). Champagne, wine, hard liquor, and smoking is occasionally visible.
What's the story?
The classic comedy I DREAM OF JEANNIE, which originally aired from 1965-1970, features Barbara Eden as Jeannie, a 2000+ year old genie who was released from her bottle after being found on a desert island by astronaut and Air Force Major Anthony Nelson (Larry Hagman). After helping him back to his Cocoa Beach, Florida home, Jeannie convinces Major Nelson to become her new Master. Things get crazy as the Major tries to keep her existence a secret while she misguidedly uses her powers to help him whenever she thinks he’s in a bind. Despite the help of friend and colleague Major Roger Healey (Bill Daily), Jeannie’s presence manages to raise the suspicion of NASA psychiatrist Dr. Alfred Bellows (Hayden Rorke), who is intent on proving that Major Nelson is suffering from delusions.
Is it any good?
The show’s plotlines surrounding Jeannie’s efforts to please her master and her attempts to keep him away from other women reflect some of the female gender roles and stereotypes of the time. Feminine sex appeal (characterized by Jeannie’s curve-revealing harem outfit) and a woman’s desire to get married are also highlighted throughout the series’ five-year run.
Some of its messages are definitely dated, and unlike shows that aired simultaneously, including Bewitched and Get Smart, it fails to address some of the social transitions of the time. But its likable characters, fantasy-oriented storylines, and running gags still make it a classic favorite.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how women's changing role in society has been depicted in the media over the years. How has that portrayal changed in the time since this show originally aired? Do you think there are things that have stayed the same? If so, what?