Haters gonna hate, but I thought this series was excellent beyond reproach. The characterizations and voices were exceptional... Within a few dozen minutes, they added something unique to each character. Further, they blew me away by making my day without filling any of my expectations.
Things they changed that I like:
"The kid" is not "Sam", "Spike" or "Witwicky". *sigh of relief*
Bumblebee is not "the kid's" main contact within the Autobots.
Arcee is not excessively doting. She has a lot of compassion, but remains strong and follows her own principles.
Starscream doesn't have such a high pitched voice. Don't get me wrong, Chris Latta was great, but they have done something different and been successful with it.
Ratchet wasn't old and grumpy sounding. He is professional and curt, and while he doesn't like the humans, he doesn't show outward anger... he just goes about his work giving one-word answers so they'll leave him alone. His character is absolutely brilliant.
Soundwave is faceless and perhaps voiceless- I think he always was (since they never portrayed his character traits in G1 other than total subservience to Megatron), but now they've made it literal.
Bulkhead isn't just comedic relief!
Ben's internal monologue: "Holy crap! They KILLED someone in the first episode! Holy CRAP! THEY TURNED HIM INTO A CREEPY ZOMBIE! HOLY CRAP! HIS COMRADES HAD TO WATCH, HELPLESS, HIS DEFILED CORPSE DIE AGAIN IN THE MINE!" Wow.
Does Megatron's face remind anyone else of a skull? Kinda creepy, I like it.
Also, they've admitted that pretty much the only Decepticons that matter are Megatron, Soundwave, and Starscream. Instead of pretending other Decepticons have character, they made them drones. Does this mean we won't have 38 meaningless seeker repaints? Yay!
I still haven't decided whether Arcee or Ratchet is my favorite. I guess I'll have to watch again.
ONE MORE THING... (please read even if you skipped the rant [i forgive you])
I haven't heard anyone like the new animation. I haven't heard anyone like the animation of Animated, Beast Wars, Energon, or Armada, either. What types of animation DO you like?
In conclusion, this series is well on its way to unseat Beast Wars as my all time favorite TF show. The characters, the well-captured Southwest scenery, differentiating itself from all the other 'classic' restarts so well... 10/10. I hope they stay this strong.