Having done individual critiques for all 75 episodes, I thought I would analyze the series as a whole and give my feelings about it, having been a long-time fan and having my share of both favorite episodes and loathed ones. All things considered, The Jetsons is a very good series and quite underrated, even during its time. I would have to say that the only real problem the show had was with its character development as well as story, as the show seems to be built more around the futuristic machinery used by the characters, than the characters themselves. During an episode, they'll cut away in the middle of what's going on to show them using some neat little gadget to accomplish a mundane task. It has no baring on the story whatsoever, it was merely put in as a diversion. Comparing this show to, say, The Flintstones, you'd see that The Flintstones was more about the characters as opposed to their setting. The show was about two families living in the Stone Age, and occasionally they did use Stone Age gadgets, including an animal operating something that would otherwise be electric, but this didn't always take away from what was happening in the story. We got to know Fred, Barney, Wilma and Betty, we followed them around, we learned a bit about their passions, their pasts, their dreams. With The Jetsons, we didn't really get that. Sure there was an episode that recalled George and Jane meeting and then getting married, but that was about it. Also, I think it would have helped if there was a Barney Rubble character in the series. A friend for George, who really had nobody to play off of except for Spacely, and I'll get into Mr. Spacely in a moment. We, the audience, don't really get to know The Jetsons as characters, or at least not in a sense that goes beyond their gimmicks. For example, Judy is the stereotypical teenage girl who's into cars, clothes, hair and boys, and she has a passion for music, but we rarely if ever got to see anything beyond that until Rockin' with Judy Jetson, which I'll get to later. Also what does Jane like besides shopping? What are her passions? How about George? We know he's a terrific pitcher in space ball, a great bowler, a hard worker, a good provider, but what is he really like? Same with Elroy, he's a boy genius and very precocious, but not very strong. You see, we don't really get to know these characters very well, we're only supposed to identify with their gimmicks and follow them as they do stuff and we're not sure why. This doesn't take away from the show's entertainment value, but it leaves a bit to be desired.
Mr. Spacely, oh boy, the meanest boss in the universe and a really deplorable character. He must have been put there for the little kids, because all he does is yell, scream and jump around a lot. Astro was the same way, a very flamboyant character, and I know a cartoon show needs cartoon characters, but these guys are often shoe-horned into scenes where they don't really belong, other than to liven things up. Comic relief, if you will. It's apparent, particularly in the later episodes that whenever the writers couldn't think of anything engaging to do with the Jetson family, they'd always bring in Spacely and his ever-growing rivalry with Cogswell Cogs. Yet another gimmick and a chance to throw in gags for no real reason other than to move the plot along. I think Cogswell was added just to try and make Spacely seem like a good guy and at times, he has expressed some affection for George and his family, though not very often. Now, I've already said which episodes are my favorites, but I'll go ahead and recap right here. I liked "The Swiss Family Jetson" because it took the characters out of their element and showed them having to thrive off instinct and know-how, which I had said should have been the movie, but it worked out fine as a 22 minute episode. Most of the shows were pretty good, but one episode I've always hated is "The Wrong Stuff" purely for the way it was set up, the story was stupid, the plot was weak, what should have been a great opportunity for character development was cast aside so Spacely could show up and exploit Elroy for no reason other than to allow him to be in an episode where he didn't belong. "Space Bong" was alright, but I didn't like the subplot of Spacely being invited to dinner, as this shows The Jetsons' universe didn't allow for any other characters to be their friends. Character is definitely where the show falls flat.
Overall, I love The Jetsons, it's a great show and the characters, while not very deep, are still enjoyable and even the horrible episodes are better than most cartoons coming out today. George, Jane, Judy, Elroy, Rosie and Astro are all endearing and you enjoy watching them do what they do. I also liked Orbitty, he was a nice addition to the cast, I don't know why they got rid of him in Season 3. Did they think he was the Jetson's answer to Cousin Oliver? Even Mr. Spacely, you love to hate him. He's so mean and cruel, yet he has his endearing moments. I would also like Mr. Cogswell if I got to know him better. Just once I would have liked to see him without Spacely and see what he's really like. I really recommend the show, as I said, some episodes are great, some are stupid, but for the most part, it's just corny fun. Suspend your disbelief and you'll enjoy what you see.