Director: Robert Gist
Writer: John Furia Jr.
Cast: Howard Morris, Patricia Barry, Loring Smith, Mark Miller, Joyce Jameson, James Millhollin, Bob Hastings, Robert Ball, and Jack Albertson
Composer: Fred Steiner
Air Date: 3/21/1963
Production Code: 4860
After purchasing a lamp, meek office worker George P. Hanley (Howard Morris) is greeted by an incongruous genie (Jack Albertson). Allowed only one wish instead of the usual three, George evaluates a number of possibilities before settling on a decision.
Serving only as a character piece for Howard Morris, “I Dream of Genie” is marred by cringe-inducing humor. Additionally awful is the pacing of this episode, which suffers from a tedious and drawn-out execution.
Though potentially amusing as the Genie, Jack Albertson (whom enthusiasts of The Twilight Zone may recognize from “The Shelter”) appears in only one scene during the entire episode. Fans of Albertson may therefore take issue with “I Dream of Genie,” which offers little opportunity for the late actor to showcase his comedic talents.
By progressing through each dream sequence at an insufferable pace, this episode may prevent the audience from fully appreciating the transition of Morris’ character—initially a self-centered, weasel-like man who develops a heart of gold over time.
“I Dream of Genie” contains a laudable message on extending charity, kindness, and compassion toward those in need. Nevertheless, the protagonist fails to correct the problems in his own life before dedicating himself to helping others, thereby undermining his poignant sacrifice in the twist ending.
A dreadful remake of “The Man in the Bottle,” “I Dream of Genie” earns its reputation as one of the worst episodes of The Twilight Zone. Specifically, this offering deserves criticism for its unrealistic characters, slow-moving subplots, and lack of screen-time for the eponymous genie.
Overall Quality: 1/10
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