And He's Got Two More Wishes After This

Scene From I Dream of Jeannie

THE IMAGE: Remarkably undead actress Barbara Eden as a genial genie named Jeannie in the ingenious "I Dream of Jeannie" (NBC, 1965-1970), shown in a screen grab posture that is meant to look sexually suggestive, but actually isn't.

THE BAIT: Interesting anecdotes that shed more light on this vitally important inflection point in American cultural history that are also weirdly titillating to boomers.

THE TARGET: Heterosexual men aged 50-70 who remember when a young woman's navel couldn't be displayed on television without offending network censors and Almighty God, gay men of any age who've latched onto this screwball sitcom for some strange reason known only to them, feminist activists trying to cancel a show that was already canceled during the Nixon Administration, the Taliban.

THE STUPID: I love the uninspired word-mush of the meaningless headline. The sponsor blandly promises "facts" that "change how we feel," without characterizing those facts or describing the way we're supposed to react to them. They're basically just phoning it in. Will the new information make us feel conflicted? Outraged? Horny? "Definition" doesn't want to tip its hand. And what are these feelings supposed to be about? The TV show? The carefree sexism of the 60s? The real-life struggles of genies? Call me cynical, but I highly doubt that any facts I might learn from the "article" about "I Dream of Jeannie" will change how I feel about anything, other than the five minutes of my day I'll never get back. But here's a noteworthy fact that I uncovered all by myself: Barbara Eden is now 90, and yet she appears to be in better physical shape than at least 90% of the nostalgia junkies likely to click on this idiotic pap. Which probably makes her feel pretty good.

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