I remember the exact moment I saw Red Green for the first time. It was in the mid-early 90s, 10-11 years old, I was walking through the den and my dad was watching it. It was not only Handyman Corner but the classic one where he changes Bill's headlight. I stayed and watched the whole rest of the episode and from that moment I was hooked. I still have a VHS of a marathon KERA ran of the show back when all we had was season 1. That tape just about wore out.
The thing that strikes me about the show is how different it always was from other stuff. It was a show within a show. It was a variety show that also had a general plot. It was a comfortable show to watch and I mean that in the best possible way. The interesting thing about that though, is the show never stayed comfortable with itself. It was constantly evolving. The second season brought the story to the present and added the lodge meeting, the third season brought in a live audience and Buzz Sherwood, the fourth season brought in Mike, Dalton, Winston and Edgar, who would all stick around til the end, and the fifth season brought in the ever popular word game.
I could go on, but the point is each of the first 10 seasons had their own feel. I can tell from the first 30 seconds, sometimes sooner, which of the first 10 seasons a show was from. Even in the last five seasons, the show continued to change, though in less obvious ways compared to the first several seasons. I absolutely love the early seasons, but could the show have made it 300 episodes without the evolution it went through. Probably not. Through it all though, 1-300, it's been funny, creative, thoughtful, fun, inspirational, and a stress-free experience.
"A show that dares to be different, only because we can't afford to be the same." - Harold Green