Yeah, season one in particular was much different from the rest of the series. When it first aired, I very much got a sense of GR's '70s vibes, as seen in his pilots Genesis II/Planet Earth.
Also, I did get a sense of TOS 2.0, that TNG was a follow-on to the series directly rather than progressing from the ST films.
As mentioned, season one perhaps had more fun and adventure than later seasons. That's interesting in contrast to TOS.
Early TOS season one was very serious, a drama that happened to be set aboard a ship in space. Later seasons brought the fun and adventure.
TNG season one had more adventure, whereas later seasons it became more dramatic, a drama series set in space.