I thought it was great from the start too. The pilot looks a little strange with the kitchen set looking different and no living room in sight. And the makeup on both Rob and Laura is way overdone. But the writing was strong from the very beginning and the characters were pretty much in place even in the pilot. Rob calls his wife "Laurie" quite a bit at first and that term of affection disappears after the first season, but there are so many other shows that took much, much longer to find their footing. One thing I enjoyed about watching this show in syndication for years on end throughout the late sixties and into the seventies was that as the show ran through the seasons and then cycled back around to the beginning, there was less of a sense of "starting over", as the sets, both at home and at work don't change at all and the whole look of the show and the characters pretty much stays the same throughout its five years. Nobody ages much apart from Richie. Rob, Buddy, Sally and Mel look exactly the same from the first non-pilot episode until the last. Season One looks like the early sixties and season five doesn't look too much later than that. Contrast that with I LOVE LUCY, where season one, a season with its long learning curve by the writers as they find their rhythm, has a late-forties, almost noir-ish look and season six, with the characters living in suburbia, is quintessentially late fifties in its style and outlook. Everyone's noticeably older and it almost seems set in a different era.