Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie rewatch

Dave Scarpa

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Started my rewatch of bewitched and Jeannie today definitely prefer these early B&W episodes of both, especially bewitched, like that you got more of darrin snoozing and drinking they are definitely more adult than the series became after they had kids, although those had highlights with Aunt Clara , Doctor Bombay etc, and of course Dick York is Darrin

Just comparing comedy while both are fantasy’s Bewitched is still more romantic comedy, being based off the movie I Married a witch, than Jeannie where the comedy is more broad. As far as co-stars while Bewitched had the awesome Agnes Morehead, Jeannie scored better co-stars in Bill Daily and Hayden Rourke, both still finding their characters, but great never the less.

The pilot of Bewitched was produced by Danny Arnold who would go onto Create Barney Miller
 

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Funny, I just watched "Hurricane Jeannie," which was the final filmed episode of I Dream of Jeannie. It wasn’t aired last, so they made it a dream (Spoilers? :laugh:), but the scene where Dr. Bellows finally discovers Jeannie’s secret is masterclass of comedic timing mixed with dramatic acting. The stunning part is that at about 11:30 in, there’s a over two minute single take where Major Nelson and Dr. Bellows go back and forth as Tony tries to talk his way out of it. The blocking and camera movement is incredible and I'm really sure there was some improvisation going on.

A silly sitcom but a perfectly cast and shot one. It never gets credit where it should... While everyone has their preference, I always liked IDOJ more than Bewitched. The supporting cast in IDOJ was sharper and had such great chemistry. Each episode felt like an adventure and the NASA angle always appealed to me more, being a sci-fi buff. Dr. Bellows struck me as much funnier than Larry Tate, who was really kind of a bastard. I don't know why Darren would want to work for him, let alone be his friend, but Bellows was Tony's superior officer, so he was stuck with him.

Not knocking the casting of Bewitched, it was spot on, but I get more honest to gosh belly laughs out of Tony, Roger and Dr. Bellows, especially once they found their groove in color. Bewitched got a smile and a chuckle out of me.

Except for when Uncle Arthur convinced Darren he had powers. "Dagga zoozie zim" always cracked me up.
 

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One thing I wonder on Jeannie-- why was the lead male (played by the late, great Larry Hagman, a Texan from Weatherford [in the DFW Metroplex, IINM]) named Tony?

Silly question, I know, but I always thought that Tony was a name you heard more in the Northeast, around New York, Massachusetts, and those parts (one major figure from that area being Tony Danza, who's played several characters bearing his first name, most notably on Taxi and Who's The Boss?, both on ABC).
 
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ScottRE

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One thing I wonder on Jeannie-- why was the lead male (played by the late, great Larry Hagman, a Texan from Weatherford [in the DFW Metroplex, IINM]) named Tony?
Why not? :emoji_dog:
 

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I grew up with both of these shows and I watched the entire series of I Dream of Jeannie a couple years ago (I also have Bewitched) and, frankly, I was surprised to find that I thought IDOJ was pretty awful. They are great characters, but the writing is often really atrocious. (It doesn't help that Sidney Sheldon wrote nearly all the episodes, at least the first seasons.) I find that Bill Daily, just as he was on Bob Newhart, insufferably silly. Especially if you watch episodes back to back. Out of the entire series I thought only about 5 episodes are really good and one of those was because of the actor in it as there wasn't anything amusing in the writing.

As far as co-stars while Bewitched had the awesome Agnes Morehead, Jeannie scored better co-stars...
Complete head scratcher to me...not just in quality, but quantity...better than Agnes Moorhead, George Tobias, Alice Pearce, Maurice Evans, Marion Lorne, Paul Lynde, Mabel Albertson, David White, Alice Ghostley and Bernard Fox?
 

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Bewitched always seemed to me to be a more serious program (especially in the B&W years) about a "mixed" marriage while I Dream of Jeannie was just a silly fantasy for the kiddies. Like the characters on Get Smart, they only got married when the ratings dropped (which contradicted the earlier rule that if Jeannie married a non-genie she would lose her powers). And NBC wanted a copy of Bewitched to try to get the ratings Bewitched had. [Note: Before I get deluged with complaints from IDOJ fans saying that's not how it was created, I'm referring to why NBC accepted it on their schedule one year after Bewitched.]
 
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Sean Thompson

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Funny, I just watched "Hurricane Jeannie," which was the final filmed episode of I Dream of Jeannie. It wasn’t aired last, so they made it a dream (Spoilers? :laugh:), but the scene where Dr. Bellows finally discovers Jeannie’s secret is masterclass of comedic timing mixed with dramatic acting. The stunning part is that at about 11:30 in, there’s a over two minute single take where Major Nelson and Dr. Bellows go back and forth as Tony tries to talk his way out of it. The blocking and camera movement is incredible and I'm really sure there was some improvisation going on.

A silly sitcom but a perfectly cast and shot one. It never gets credit where it should... While everyone has their preference, I always liked IDOJ more than Bewitched. The supporting cast in IDOJ was sharper and had such great chemistry. Each episode felt like an adventure and the NASA angle always appealed to me more, being a sci-fi buff. Dr. Bellows struck me as much funnier than Larry Tate, who was really kind of a bastard. I don't know why Darren would want to work for him, let alone be his friend, but Bellows was Tony's superior officer, so he was stuck with him.

Not knocking the casting of Bewitched, it was spot on, but I get more honest to gosh belly laughs out of Tony, Roger and Dr. Bellows, especially once they found their groove in color. Bewitched got a smile and a chuckle out of me.

Except for when Uncle Arthur convinced Darren he had powers. "Dagga zoozie zim" always cracked me up.
It really can be such a close call. Both shows had such great supporting casts. I think for IDOJ, Mrs Bellows gets no respect. That episode where she uses Jeannie’s face cream kills me every time.
 

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I think Bewitched holds up better in terms of writing and overall quality, but I Dream of Jeannie is so charming in its own way. So colorful and fanciful in a very 60’s way. Both casts are sensational. Bill Daily, Hayden Rorke and Emmaline Henry were pitch-perfect and totally underrated. And I think once Dallas came along that many (most?) people forgot what a superb physical comedian and farceur Larry Hagman was. And Barbara Eden was charm and beauty personified.

But Bewitched remains the superior series imo.
 

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One area IDOJ beats out Bewitched imo is the theme song. As much as I love the Bewitched theme, I think the 2nd IDOJ theme by Hugo Montenegro & Buddy Kaye is among the very best ever.

This is my favorite season/version of the theme, used in the 4th and 5th seasons. GREAT orchestration and incredible, tight playing by some of the best session players in L.A. at the time. Love the drums and brass, especially.

 

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Hi All,

I always preferred the more relaxed first season theme of I Dream Of Jeannie.
I believe it was referred to as Jeannie's Waltz, written by Richard Wess. It sounded more "professional" and classy for lack of a better term.
 
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Ron Lee Green

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Both shows are good. I guess it just depends on your taste. I watched both shows growing up and I liked them both, but I've always liked Bewitched a little more.
The character of Samantha was very appealing to me because, not only was she beautiful, but she was level-headed as well. She always seemed composed, calm. cool, and collected. and gave the show a more quiet, philosophical feeling. Also, Bewitched usually pulled out the magic as a last resort, or at least tried to keep it at a minimum.
IDOJ, on the other hand, relied too much on the magic, and was more "slapsticky," with a lot of running around, and had more of a frantic pace to it.
 

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I have to agree with Ron. Both shows can be entertaining, and at their best, they both made me laugh, but I found Bewitched the much better written comedy, and I can still get enormous pleasure out of watching it, particularly the two Alice Pearce years. I Dream of Jeannie doesn't wear as well for me as an old timer.
 

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Hi All,

I always preferred the more relaxed first season theme of I Dream Of Jeannie.
I believe it was referred to Jeannie's Waltz, written by Richard Wess. It sounded more "professional" and classy for lack of a better term.
It’s a lovely theme. And it fit beautifully with the black & white season, which had a different feel than the color seasons.
 

ScottRE

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Man, I wish Sony would restore the credits and themes to both shows - not to mention the subtitles to the first episode of Jeannie.

Jeannie was a knock off as far as NBC was concerned and many of the plots and props (not to mention the neighborhood) were similar. But the energy was different as were the relationships and I think that's where the preferences are. If you liked the dynamics and more level headed kind of humor of Bewitched, then that's the show for you. If you liked more slapstick and frenetic pacing, then IDOJ is your show. I loved the "adventure" feel of the series and NASA connection, as well as the zany style of comedy. I felt Tony Nelson was a more likable male lead than Darren. However, I did enjoy both York and Sargent in the role. They brought different energy. And Bewitched did have a stellar supporting cast of true Hollywood greats.

I also agree that the music of IDOJ was far superior. Especially the NASA / Air Force music, the first season theme and Dr. Bellows' theme (which always makes me smile).

They are both charming and ageless shows. I may prefer one over the other, but both are pretty great. I'm just glad IDOJ ended before they started remaking episodes the way Bewitched did.
 
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MartinP.

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^^^^^^

The Bewitched personnel always felt I Dream of Jeannie was remaking their episodes. :)
 
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