Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bewitched Vs I Dream of Jeannie

As a kid, my friends and I would discuss which power we'd rather have - Jeannie's or Sam's.

"Bewitched" ran from 64 to 72. Yeah, pretty long, huh? Samantha, played by Elizabeth Montgomery, was a witch who was newly married and trying ever so hard not to let her quirky witchy relatives and her nose-twitching spell ways from her husband and others.

"I Dream of Jeannie" ran from 65 to 70. Jeannie, played by Barbara Eden, was a 2000-year-old genie from a bottle that was found by an astronaut and now sworn to do his bidding in the most fumbling of ways.

I liked both concepts as a kid. Most of my friend wanted to be a genie because it seemed like unlimited capabilities, but being the logic-minded one, I had to point out that Jeannie had to do magic for her master. Sam, however, could do spells for any reason she desired or for anyone. I also liked that Sam was surrounded by a quirky and oddly talented family too. It gave her a whole culture that poor Jeannie out of her element in Cocoa Beach, Florida, was missing.

So, which one would you have rather been?


  1. Growing up I had the biggest crush on Sam! I would also say her powers where better.

  2. Being a young guy-type creature when those shows were running, I thought Barbara Eden was totally hot, Elizabeth Montgomery not so much... and it wasn't just the genie's skimpier costume. I also thought Larry Hagman's character was way cooler than Dick York/Sargent's. As for the IDOJ control issue, I'd say that Tony's mastery of Jeannie was iffy to the point of being only nominal; as I recall, Samantha seemed to be more stressed about keeping her mother and the rest of her witchy relatives off her back than Jeannie was about keeping her guy off hers... or off any other part of her, for that matter. And overall, although Jeannie had to conceal her very existence from most people until Tony married her during the fifth (1969) season, within that former constraint she wasn't leading a double life, and ergo was much more free to be who and what she was. Ironically, the marriage seemed to be more of a bottle for her than the bottle itself had been, but at least she didn't have as many family issues as Samantha did. So, not only would I have chosen to be with Jeannie rather than Samantha back in the day, if forced to choose nowadays I'd rather be Jeannie as well.

  3. I would rather be Jeannie.