Barbara Eden, Larry Hagman. The magic-filled fifth season of this beloved sitcom finally brought Major Nelson and Jeannie to the altar. Final season guest stars include Farrah Fawcett, Jim Backus, Dick Wilson, Jackie Coogan and more. Includes 26 episodes on 4 DVDs. 1969-70/color/10 hrs., 28 min/NR/fullscreen.
The most beloved midriff on television finally went off the air, but the last season of I Dream of Jeannie
was just as enjoyably silly as ever. Ever-helpful and virtually all-powerful Jeannie (Barbara Eden) turn her beloved astronaut Tony Nelson (Larry Hagman) into a concert pianist and a pool shark; a magic cream turns Mrs. Bellows (Emmaline Henry) into a completely different woman; magic dog Djinn Djinn and his "wife" are about to have puppies, but everyone thinks it's Jeannie who's pregnant; when a hotel is full, Jeannie gives it a new floor. But of course the big event of this season is the wedding: Tony and Jeannie finally get married, thus domesticating the show's classic male fantasy... though truly, there's no more hint of sex between the leads after the wedding than there was before it. In fact, it's surprising the show began to lose popularity; there's practically no difference between stand-alone episodes before the wedding and after it. The most enjoyable episodes of the fifth season are actually the ones setting up the wedding, which give the show a sense of momentum and richer character relationships that standard episodes, fun though they may be, usually lack. Mind you, this is still I Dream of Jeannie
, not Six Feet Under
--Tony's decision to marry Jeannie after resisting for so long happens without much soul-searching--but it still adds just a hint of narrative depth. Other pleasures this season include Eden's parade of groovy short-skirted outfits; brief supporting appearances by Farrah Fawcett, Dick Van Patten, and others; and the ever-dependable weaselly behavior of Roger (the ever-dependably great Bill Dailey), the show's crucial ingredient. I Dream of Jeannie
was never a groundbreaking sitcom like Roseanne
; it had a goofy but clear premise and mined it for predictable but also dependable humor. For fans, all five seasons will reward their devotion. --Bret Fetzer