I Dream of Jeannie vs. Bewitched

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Jon Baker, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. Jon Baker

    Jon Baker Stunt Coordinator

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    Which one of these do you think is the better show and why?

    I've always thought Bewitched was the better show and after watching a few of the 1st season of I Dream of Jeannie episodes I'm now sure of it. Although Barbara Eden is cute and the show has a cool opening theme with the animation and all I just don't think the show itself holds up well. It's really more of a cornball "Gilligan's Island"-type show full of physical comedy and none of it is very funny...at least not anymore. One can only take so much of Major Nelson's nevous talking and bumbling antics and Jeannie is played as such a dumbell that there is no balance between the 2 main characters. Bewitched at least has balance and I do find the stories, characters and acting on that show much better. I even like the special effects better.

    so what do the rest of you think - Jeannie or Bewitched?
     
  2. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    I also think Bewitched was the better show. IDOJ seemed to focus more on the magic, and BW on the relationships. I think that's why as a kid, I preferred IDOJ, and as I grew older I came to love BW a LOT more. I really couldn't get through all the IDOJ S1 eps on dvd, but I'm still glad I got them.

    I must say that I disagree about Larry Hagman's nervous talking and bumbling antics. I think that is a highlight of the show, and one of the areas that does hold up today. I think Hagman's timing was impeccable. I think the performances on IDOJ are very good, but the writing and directing wasn't on quite the same par with BW. Of course, even in it's original network airing, it was aimed at a different audience. IDOJ was aimed at younger viewers (hence the 7:30 timeslot; not even in primetime) while BW aired at 9:00pm.

    Sadly as BW stayed on the air, it became in the later seasons more like IDOJ, with the magic becoming FAR more prominent in the plots and less attention given to quality dialogue or relationships. But in it's heyday, BW had a lot to say about bigotry and acceptance and love. In fact, I'll go so far as to say that I think it's the greatest love story told through the medium of television. What those 2 people gave up, and put up with, to be with each other, despite severe pressure from their families, is very touching.
     
  3. Michael Rogers

    Michael Rogers Supporting Actor

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    Bewitched is the better show but IDOJ was at it's best when it did slapstick. And although I think Liz Montgomery is cute and sexy, Barbara Eden is MEGA cute and sexy.

    Larry Hagman's reactions were always great in IDOJ too. IDOJ is more of a farce but at it's best Bewitched had heart(like with episodes A is for Arrdvark and Charlie Harper, Winner).

    I love both shows in different ways.
     
  4. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    I love both of them, but I prefer IDOJ overall. I like the faster pace, the physical comedy, the smoother special effects (for the most part) and the fact that Tony Nelson wasn't a "bigot" like Darrin, in that he never tried to make Jeannie change who she was, but rather just wished she didn't get him in to trouble so often!

    "Bewitched" really suffered from the numerous changes in the cast (it seems like Samantha and Abner were the only characters that weren't recast) and the fact that got pretty repetitive, even going so far as to remake shows towards the end of the run. If they had done one more remake of "Samantha For the Defense".....

    Still, "Bewitched" had one of my favorite characters of all time; Aunt Clara. Every scene she was in was gold.

    Don't give up on IDOJ with the first year; it gets better.

    I really think it would have been great to see Samantha dnd Jeannie meet in a special. The possibilities were endless and the ratings would have been astronomical! Considering the series were shot on the same lot (and often the same sets!) this could have worked.
     
  5. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    I DREAM OF JEANNIE is the better show for me. Way better. I also find Barbara Eden more attractive than Elizabeth Montgomery, and Larry Hagman was quite funny. Let's not leave out Bill Daily as Roger Healey, either ... as well as the irreplacable Dr. Bellows (Hayden Rorke)!
     
  6. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    I only own Jeannie. Bewitched is alright. It's a show that I can enjoy if I happen to catch it, but I don't seek it out. I would be tempted to buy the DVDs only to get the B&Ws before they are unavailable. Unfortunately, I no longer see them in stores, and I don't think I'll order them online.
     
  7. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    I have to say that IDOJ failed to capture much of my attention as a child. What attracted me to BW was all those grand old character actors and comedians. You never knew who was going to "pop in" next. Every episode was a surprise. I just loved to see Agnes Moorehead play her mischief, and recite those crazy spells in theatrical, stentorian tones. I loved it when she met in match in estranged hubby, Maurice Evans, who was even stronger and more stentorian. I loved seeing Aunt Clara fall down the chimney, and Mrs. Kravitz scream "ABNAH!" I loved Uncle Arthur popping out of books, dressed as the characters within. I loved Dr. Bombay with his "nurses." I loved all those strange and larger-than-life characters. Compared to BW and its wonderful acting, IDOJ seemed like the amateur hour.
     
  8. Mark Talmadge

    Mark Talmadge Cinematographer

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    I think the problem everyone is facing is that they are looking at the popularity of each series instead of the basic background of each series.

    Bewitched, while it is your typical sitcom about a witch marrying a mortal, is at its very core, a family oriented television, much like the Brady Bunch and doesn't function too heavily on the magical aspects of the characters.

    I Dr eam of Jeannie doesn't try to copy this formula but rather tries to become a comedy series with a romantic aspect attached to it. While IDoJ seems to copy the Bewitched formula, it does take the genre into a different direction than Bewitched does.

    I don't play favourites between the two. I grew up in the early seventies as a huge fan of these two shows and I love each show equally. They are very good shows, both in their own right.
     
  9. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    I agree.

    The series were usually sold together in syndication and I grew up watching both daily after school. I fell in love with both series on sight.
     
  10. Mark Talmadge

    Mark Talmadge Cinematographer

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    I can't imagine that there isn't anyone here who loves watching both television shows. From where I stand, and I grew up watching many of those classic shows; I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, the Andy Griffith Show, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Six Million Dollar Man, the Bionic Woman and all of those classic shows. When it comes to watching a television show on cable I'll choose an old classic program rather than a new one because the writing on those shows back was much more original and free-spirited than the convuluted and oftentimes dialogue-intense storylines that birden down current shows.

    For me, I grew up on these old classic sixties and sevtnies television shows and I'm glad we finally have both of these classic shows on DVD.
     
  11. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    That's it. I own both series so far.
     
  12. Roger_S

    Roger_S Stunt Coordinator

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    Obviously, each show has it's fans...for me, it's always been Bewitched. I like the setting and the characters and the fact that Samantha is very down to Earth. Jeannie did her thing and didn't care when or why. It's a miracle she was never found out. I also felt Bewitched had better characters...Uncle Arthur, Endora, Aunt Clara, Gladys Kravitz (especially the first 2 seasons when Alice Pearce played her), etc.
     
  13. ethanTo

    ethanTo Stunt Coordinator

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    Definitely Bewitched....

    Why? Because Elizabeth Montgomery probably, she was infinitely superior in all ways to Barbara Eden, who I always found more irritating than anything else.
     
  14. Tony J Case

    Tony J Case Cinematographer

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    I have to go with Jeannie here. Bewitched never sat well with me - and I figured out a couple of years ago just why: I dont like the tone of the series.

    While both of them has their domination male figures forbidding their magical partners to use their powers, it was less common with Jeannie (and she pretty much ignored her Master anyway). Meanwhile Darren was downright abusive to poor old Sam.

    And yes, I know that was how the 60's worked - but it doesnt change the fact that Endora was right. He was no good for Sam.

    I know it's a stupid point, but that one perception (right or wrong) has tainted the show for me.
     
  15. Michael Alden

    Michael Alden Supporting Actor

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    Uh, 7:30 WAS primetime in the sixties. It wasn't taken away and given to the local stations until the early 70s.

    Speaking of shows in this vein, I was actually more a fan of My Living Doll than either of these 2, although I liked all 3. Julie Newmar was hysterical as the robot designed to be the "perfect woman". Too bad the show didn't make it into syndication and it's only remembered by those who saw it at the time. But I've yet to mention it to anyone who did watch it that doesn't say they loved it.
     
  16. Michael Rogers

    Michael Rogers Supporting Actor

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    Here is what I wrote about this "Darrin is a bigot" thing at another time and forum:

    The only reason why Darrin was successful in having Samantha curtail her witchcraft is BECASUE SHE AGREED TO.

    People who know the show know of that episode called "A is for Arrdvark". The episode where Darrin made the decision to let Samantha produce everything for them with witchcraft.

    Samantha wasn't happy about it and Darrin eventually wasn't happy about it.

    It's clear that all is available to Samantha through her power. And her living through the life that Darrin has is an ultimate statement of love for him. She wants to be a part of his life, not the other way around. If she drew him into her life and the world of the witches, he'd cease to be the Darrin she fell in love with. She fell in love with his rugged individualist mindset and knew it was an inseperable part of the Darrin she loved. She knew that her life would destroy it.

    Darrin is not a bigot, on the contrary, Endora and Maurice show some bigotry towards Darrin for not wanting to be around witchcraft.

    In the early episodes, Darrin tried to be nice to Endora but Endora wasn't going to have any of it because she resented that Samantha was trying to go witchcraft free.

    If Darrin was a bigot he would've divorsed Samantha for being a witch and if he didn't he would've hated Samantha's relatives at the outset because they were Witches and Warlocks.

    Darrin is not comfortable with witchcraft itself. It is something he can't do, doesn't understand the ins and outs of and has no defense against. Darrin doesn't want Sam to do witchcraft and she agrees to it. Not because of a "you Tarzan, Me Jane" mentality but because she loves him and wants to be a nurturer to him. You can't be a nurturer by constantly displaying powers he can't fully understand or cope with.

    So, she's doing this out of her own free will, nobody's oppressed, nobody's being hated for the simple reason of being who they are. Darrin couches no witchcraft in his rugged individualist "I don't want things given to my family I haven't earned" attitude. Samantha anchors it to her love of who Darrin is as a mortal and how constant exposure to witchcraft would ultimataly change him.

    Sorry to get so philosophical about a 1960's sitcom. But this is how I look at Darrin and Samantha's relationship.
     
  17. Tony J Case

    Tony J Case Cinematographer

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    ***Snippage***


    First - we probably shouldnt apply this much analysis to a sitcom. If we want logic, then the Skipper/Gilligan paradim is NOT a good place to start. [​IMG]

    That said - I still think Darrin was abusive (although not nessassarly a bigot). And yes the hostility from the supernatural team was pretty unrelenting (and they did outgun him from the get go), but I just cant get past his attitude. Think of it like. . . say, like a Christian/Jewish marrage instead of Witch/Mortal. One side wants the other to give up their reigious pratice and convert. It seems selfish to force that upon someone you love and worse - it's not being true to yourself.

    Then again, thats reading WAY too much into it. The show isn't suppose to be more than "Oh no - nosey Ms Kravets is lurking in the back yard again!" *cue laugh track* Its not some kind of social commentary about black rights vs The Man keeping them down.

    (And I think that Jeannie is WAY hotter than Sam)
     
  18. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Boy, that's "opening up a can of worms" [​IMG]

    I guess "It's in the eye of the Beholder"....I vote "Sam" in a photo-finish.
     
  19. JohnMor

    JohnMor Producer
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    To each his own! [​IMG] One reason I prefer Sam is that no matter how hot Jeannie is, she caused all the trouble and left her master to solve it on his own. Sam solved the problems others created, and almost always did it with her brains and not her witchcraft. Sexy AND smart! That's my kind of woman! [​IMG]
     
  20. Kevin Hewell

    Kevin Hewell Cinematographer

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    I agree with John. I've never liked that "dumb blonde" archetype so I've always liked Sam much more because she was smart. Hell, she should have been the one working at McMahon and Tate since she came up with many of Darrin's ad campaigns.
     

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