I've been working my way backwards with this show, starting with Season 3.
Now that I'm at Season 1, the vibe of these early episodes feels so different from the formula that would be established later on. It feels almost like a different show.
First off, "Read the mind, See the Movie," and other episodes like "Next Stop, Murder" are very fun, but feel very campy. The mysteries and the comedy are the focus, and the relationship between David and Maddie is just secondary. Season 3-5 feel more focused on the relationship between David and Maddie, and the mysteries are secondary at best.
Okay, for this episode, I feel like I'm watching a late 1970s show with the laser demonstration and the hi-tech company. I had to check to see if this was an episode of Moonlighting or The Bionic Woman. But it was pleasantly surprised. I liked that we got something so out the ordinary as far as Blue Moon cases/clients go. Working security for SRT was great. Now, I know that Bill Murray was mentioned as the prototype for David Addison, but we get to see David Addison actually acting like Peter Venkmann! There's a lot of similarities between the two characters, even their hairlines.
The laser demonstration, the fraud psychic...all goofy and campy, but fun! I mean, I love the identity the show eventually created for itself, but I'm digging the style of these early episodes.
The style of jokes were different from we would get later on. David calling Maddie's opera glasses "binoculars." Maddie having a fashion magazine in her surveillance supplies. "Why don't we just use the pipe?" All very quick jokes, not as verbally clever as the dialogue we'd get later on, but they were all cute and funny jokes. I actually laughed out loud at a few of them.
And Maddie looked stunning in this episode. Cybill Shepherd was always attractive, but I kept forgetting she was a former model. I started watching when she had a more icy, serious, stuffed shirt personality, always yelling about something, and she was usually dressed conservatively, all business. Here, her hair, makeup and outfits are all on point. When she goes on the date with the rich guy. And especially the scene where she's in David's office and there both happy that they actually solved a case. She was beautiful here. And adorable. The way she mocks David voice "Stop beating a dead horse!" The little flirtations between the two, the sun setting through the venetian blinds, the typical romantic/detective music playing in the background. THAT is easily one of my favorite moments in this series.
I only wish we got more episodes in this tone for Season 1.