I'll admit, I've been absent from the Spider-Man franchise for quite some time (pretty much went away around the time it was announced Sony was rebooting the film series). With Ultimate Spider-Man airing, I decided to give it a shot, keeping no expectations that it would be good.
Turns out, I liked it quite a bit. I wouldn't say it's the best Spider-Man show I've seen, but it is one of the better ones. The style reminds me quite a bit of Teen Titans
, with silly animated segments and an overall tongue-in-cheek presentation. And it works. Some of the little animations are pretty funny (the one at the end of the second episode with Mini-Spidey running around Peter's head to turn on a lightbulb was a wonderful sight gag), and most of the lines are pretty good too ("Okay, now I'm scared thwipless!"). There were plenty of subtle nods towards all the Marvel movies (Iron Man's first flight test is shown in a mini-animation, Agent Coulson has come straight from the Marvel Cinematic universe, and Stan Lee makes an appearance as a janitor), and the new characters are interesting enough.
The animation in the "real" show feels a bit stiffer than Spectacular Spider-Man, but there are still plenty of notable fight scenes (the scene where Spidey is running up tables that The Wizard is hurling at him made the action aficionado in me grin). The series does take a few liberties with the established Spidey canon (MJ wants to be a journalist now rather than an actress, Aunt May's become a lot more lively and energetic, and I'm still not sure if Peter and MJ are in a relationship or not), but that's to be expected in an adaptation.
Overall though, I was pleasantly surprised with Ultimate Spider-Man. Once again, it's not the best Spider-Man show I've seen (that honor goes to Spectacular Spider-Man), but it is a worthy addition to the Spidey mythos. Give it a try. It might surprise you like it surprised me.