Maybe it’s the serious crush I harbored on Barbara Eden while I was in the third grade, but catching any glimpse of “I Dream of Jeannie” never fails to make me smile. Created by novelist Sidney Sheldon (!), the harmless but not charmless sitcom has become a classic, via endless reruns on syndicated television. Now all five seasons “ 139 episodes’ worth “ have been collected onto a mammoth 20-disc set.
As with many 1960s TV comedies, any given episode of “Jeannie” follows a rough story template, which here involves Jeannie (Eden), an actual genie in a bottle, trying to fix things for her “master” who discovered her, astronaut Maj. Nelson (Larry Hagman), only to royally screw things up. Magic got them both in and out of trouble, to amusing effect (although not nearly as riotous as the laugh track would have you believe). Much like “Bewitched,” “bubbly” is the best way to describe “Jeannie,” inoffensive even when one considers her undying loyalty to Nelson.
Sony has packaged this set for the fans, with the discs encased in a replica of Jeannie’s bejeweled bottle. The show’s core of three cast members “ with sidekick Bill Daily “ are present for interviews, and dozens of collector’s cards are included, ripe with trivia. It’d be nice to have the two reunion telefilms included just for the sake of completion, even if they fail to recapture the show’s simple magic.