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David Hines [userpic]

Yuletide reveal post!

January 2nd, 2012 (12:41 am)
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As previously stated, I wrote one story for Yuletide this year. That story was...

*drumroll*

"My Master's Secret Mission," for LeBibish, in the I DREAM OF JEANNIE fandom!

If you haven't seen I DREAM OF JEANNIE, there are two things you need to know about it:

1) It is about a D/s relationship between a guy and God, and *God is the sub.*

2) It is about a D/s relationship in which the top is deep in the closet and the bottom COULD NOT BE ANY MORE OUT OF IT.

The premise of the show is that an honest-to-goodness genie (played by Barbara Eden) is rescued from a long imprisonment in her bottle by straight-laced astronaut Tony Nelson (played by Larry Hagman), when he crash-lands on a deserted island. Alarmed at being abruptly saddled with a drop-dead gorgeous blonde who calls him "Master," he sets her free, whereupon Jeannie's first action is to tuck her bottle into his gear so she can follow him home and *top the hell out of him from the bottom.* It is basically the second-kinkiest show of the 1960s after BATMAN '66, and that's only because BATMAN '66 was basically straight-up Victorian bondage porn.

I DREAM OF JEANNIE is full of astounding double-entendres (asked in one episode if she loves Tony, Jeannie cheerfully replies, "Heels over head!"), character humor (Eden is a *brilliant* comic actress, who takes a bizarre character and makes her loveable and real) and slapstick (Hagman is a marvelous straight man and brilliant at pratfalls), but it's also amazingly heartfelt. Eden gets to show most of the emotion in the series, because Hagman's Tony is so guarded and reserved -- but when Hagman lets Tony's guard down, and lets uncertainty and emotion show, it's just wonderful work.

The other major characters from the show are Tony's fellow astronaut Roger Healey, who is annoyed that his buddy's chief use of Jeannie is to save money on food when she could be blinking up gold and making them rich, and Colonel Alfred E. Bellows, the psychiatrist monitoring the astronauts, whose chief job is to walk straight-faced into absurd situations that can only be explained by Tony being eccentric, deranged, or sexually deviant, and then to relentlessly ask Tony to please explain what exactly is going on. At the time of airing, Colonel Bellows probably came off as thinking Tony was mentally unstable; watching it nowadays, at least half the time you get the impression that Colonel Bellows is wondering if Tony's gay.

The show is *amazingly* bizarre, and watching it is a little like falling into a parallel universe. You kind of hate yourself at first, and then you wind up loving it. I did, anyway.

LeBibish asked for a story involving culture shock, maybe something involving Jeannie's family. I kicked that around, trying to figure out how to make that an IDoJ story, and then figured the hook was work: Tony believes in work as an ennobling force, but Jeannie sees work as something painful and horrific to be avoided if at all possible. I think it came out pretty well. I tend to write tight third person, but I decided the best way to write this one would be first person, and the *funniest* way to write first person would be to try to pull off a Jeannie POV. It was an interesting voice challenge to pull off, and I'm really gratified that a lot of comments and recs said that I really got Jeannie's voice. I kind of wish the big showdown had gone on longer, but I also think Jeannie would have elided it, so it didn't turn out too badly.

Also, FWIW, my annual Yuletide statistics post is here, on the LJ Yuletide comm.

Originally posted on my DW. | comment count unavailable people have commented there. | Do so yourself, if you like.

Comments

Posted by: Amberley (amberley)
Posted at: January 2nd, 2012 11:19 am (UTC)

That was delightful! And major bonus points for working in the Stroop Test.

Posted by: mendori (mendori)
Posted at: January 2nd, 2012 05:46 pm (UTC)

Agreed. I just about needed to ask dear author there for a new keyboard on that one.

I really enjoyed it, though I didn't get to it until post reveal.

Posted by: Persephone (persephone_kore)
Posted at: January 3rd, 2012 06:14 pm (UTC)

I only ever saw maybe... part of one episode, I think, when my family was on vacation somewhere that had cable. So I cannot judge this by its relation to canon, but as a story independent of everything but vague conceptual familiarity, it was a lot of fun. And the disagreement over the nature of work was neat, and plausibly set up on both sides.

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