Who would win in a battle between Jeannie (from I Dream of Jeannie) and Samantha (from Bewitched)? Michael takes the position that Samantha would win, while David takes the position that Jeannie would come out on top.
Look at Jeannie’s weaknesses. Her magic is clearly not up to par with Samantha’s. In the little-known telepicture “I Still Dream of Jeannie”, the plot revolved around Major Nelson (Jeannie’s master) being missing in space. Jeannie can’t bring him back, however, because she doesn’t know where he is. This is power? Please. Samantha has mastered teleportation, telekinesis, time travel, etc. She has full control of the space time continuum, in that she has stopped time when a situation got out of hand. She could just freeze Jeannie in her tracks and twitch her to Neptune or something.
Jeannie is classically inept. She is always misunderstanding something that her master is talking about or wishing for, and ends up goofing up and causing problems for everyone. She will dress him up in a foolish outfit in a blundering attempt to make him look more well-dressed. She is clearly out of step with the human world, and this will contribute to her downfall. Samantha understands the human world so well that she chose to live there rather than spend a boring, almost godlike existence that is the exclusive domain of witches and warlocks. She is at ease living among mortals, and will quickly mop the floor with her inferior opponent.
Another bad point for Jeannie is that she is a genie, and thus has to live under the constraints of a genie. That means that all Samantha has to do is twitch Jeannie into her bottle (or any bottle) and cork it. End of story.
What is Jeannie going to do to attack Samantha? Let’s consider
what she usually does on her television series:
And if the match weren’t lopsided enough, Samantha isn’t alone. She has a whole host of help in her magical family. Her mother Endora won’t stand idly by and see her only daughter attacked, nor will Samantha’s father Maurice. These two even scare Samantha with their power, so they more than outmatch Little Jeannie.
All of the points I have outlined above add up to only one conclusion. Jeannie is no match for Samantha. In the battle of the witch versus the genie, Samantha wins – hands down. She’ll beat Jeannie so quickly she’ll still have time to do her housework, save Darrin’s job for the hundredth time, and relax with a nice long broom ride.
Jeannie’s powers have a few limits, but nothing that would prevent her from taking care of Mrs. Stevens. Whatever Jeannie’s mind can comprehend can become a reality. Jeannie could simply blink and nod her head and Samantha would be back in old Salem, with no memory of her past (which coincidentally was the plot of half of the episodes of Bewitched). Samantha’s nose-twitching and finger snaps are good for very little, as she needs to verbally cast a spell to bring out the big guns. This leaves her at a decided disadvantage, as Jeannie needs only nod and blink to get things done. Jeannie could simply nod and blink and Samantha’s voice box, hands and nose could disappear, leaving her powerless!
You speak of Samantha’s family as if they were an asset, but her bumbling extended family would be a hindrance with their gross incompetence. She spends most of her time cleaning up their messes, and this fight would be no exception. Uncle Arthur would perform a practical joke like giving Samantha a water pistol, distracting her as she is forced to get rid of it. Aunt Clara will, in an attempt to help, try to summon a great warrior like Julius Caesar, but would instead bring a Caesar salad (or some other pathetic stunt). Aunt Esmeralda would get startled by Jeannie’s belly button and simply disappear. I could go on.
Jeannie’s family, on the other hand, is more than capable. Jeannie’s mother and sister will join forces and make Samantha wish she had stayed among her witch and warlock kinsfolk. Djinn-Djinn (Jeannie’s invisible dog) would also get into the act, chewing Samantha’s broom in half, to the delight of the spectators.
Samantha is also hamstrung by the capricious Witch’s Council. If Samantha even thought about attempting to harm Jeannie, a flaming arrow would land in the family room summoning her to answer for her crimes. They would likely strip her of her magic for such an egregious abuse of her “power”, leaving her to be a simple housewife.
Jeannie would also have legions of fans pulling for her, giving her the strength to succeed. Jeannie is revered by America as a cultural icon. Her harem outfit is displayed proudly in the Smithsonian museum in Washington D.C. Where is Samantha’s broom or flying dress? Lying in the dustbin where they belong.
While it is true that if Jeannie ends up in the bottle this fight is over, such an occurrence is far from likely. Jeannie must enter the bottle of her own free will, and Samantha will never trick her into making such a rookie mistake.
Faced with these facts, I am sure you and others will agree that Jeannie will make mincemeat of this poor magical pretender and continue to make Dr. Bellows’ life hell.
Jeannie’s family would help her? Please. Jeannie’s sister HATED Jeannie and was always trying to steal Major Nelson away. If anything, her sister would help Samantha to destroy Jeannie. And I doubt her dog would even attack Samantha, since it was a dislike of uniforms that brought out Djinn-Djinn’s vicious side.
You give Jeannie far too much credit in using her powers to attack Samantha. Her ridiculous kabuki of folding her arms, blinking, and tossing her pony-tail like a whiplash victim does not match the speed of a simple twitch of the nose or a snap of the fingers. Samantha could simply pop up to the nearest cloud (where Jeannie couldn’t follow) and then compose an 8 stanza mega-spell that would send Jeannie back to ancient Baghdad.
Jeannie has one fatal flaw – whoever controls Jeannie’s bottle controls Jeannie. Samantha only needs to twitch her nose and cause Jeannie’s bottle to appear in her hand. She will then order Jeannie into her bottle, cork it, zap it to the moon, and call it a day.
And Samantha is much more beloved by America than Jeannie will ever be. She has a bronze statue immortalizing her in Salem, Massachusetts. Jeannie’s harem outfit is in the Smithsonian? So are some props from M*A*S*H, All in the Family, and other garbage from TV’s junk heap. I’m not impressed. Bewitched was better than I Dream of Jeannie, and Samantha is better than Jeannie.
Jeannie’s family would pitch in if Jeannie was in trouble, which would be an asset, unlike Samantha’s tribe of wash-ups. If this battle is like most episodes of Bewitched, Sammy won’t even have her powers. Instead Samantha will futilely call for Dr. Bombay (who will be doing something outlandish with an equally outlandish outfit with a nurse, natch!)
Jeannie still has popularity on her side. Jeannie was simply a better run show than Bewitched. It stayed on the air a respectable 5 years leaving the fans wanting more, creating demand for two made-for-TV movies. Bewitched lasted for 8 years, but had worn out its welcome after 5, resorting to recycling scripts and actors while reaching new lows in the ratings. Speaking of recycled actors, what was with the constant changes on Bewitched? 2 Darrins, 2 Louise Tates, 2 Gladys Kravitzs, 2 Tabithas, 2 Darrins Dad. People were dying to get off that show. Literally!
This brings me to the crusher. Jeannie wins by default, since she is
still alive! Elizabeth Montgomery kicked the bucket ages ago. In order
to even conduct this fight, you would have to dig her up, prop her up
against a tree and stick a wand in her hand. There would be no twitching
as her nose has probably been eaten by bugs, one snap of her fingers
would snap them right off her hands. Jeannie wins hands down (and folded).