>I remember taking a look at a G1 episode back in early 2012 (the ep with the giant crab voiced by Peter Cullen), but I found the episode plain and with uninvested voice acting, so I left it at that one episode.
"Flat" is a good definition :D, there are lot of nonsensical points in the writing of the episodes, but also there is some stuff I really like. Sometimes the "enemies" of the ponies aren't really evil, but forced to submission to someone who is more powerful or make some fake promises (as Grogar that do both to his people, terrorizing them and promise to escape from the curse that make Tambelon disappear). I think I appreciate this point becouse not all enemies would fight the heroes for some "evil plan": fear and blackmail are two other good reasons.
There is also some absurd, crazy stuff as ever, like that guy called Lavan who surf on lava, or the icecream cannons of the bakers which shots... icecream and nuts. O.o!
>If I understand you right, there were a few good S1 episodes that gained goodness from establishing two-pony friendships much better.
I find also Green isn't your color one of the best of S1. It deal with three characters with a slight different problem at same time (jelousy for Rarity, the typical shyness for Flutter and a moral dilemma for Twilight) in a simple plot, some good jokes, a complexity that is not matched in other episodes. When Meghan works of relationships, she can do some interesting things.
Ponyville Confidential, Putting Your Hoof Down and Dragon Quest, taking away their flaws, are some ep of S2 I enjoy better; however I have not much taste for the S3.