Okay, this show was always kinda mean-spirited, but in the first season there was at least an attempt at variation with the jokes, and the losers (like Cameron) at least got a couple of karmic victories. And, well, at first there was certain charm there — none of the characters were original and the premise wasn't very solid, but the actors were decent and there were a few nice episodes. Especially when the show eschewed all attempts at realism and just allowed itself to be wacky, it worked.
As the episodes went on, though, every single character either Took a Level in Jerkass
(most notably Olive), were Demoted to Extra
(like Paisley) or vanished from the show altogether (more than half the original cast). By the time the third season came up, the show had been reduced to "let's all laugh at the loser," "bullying is so much fun!" and "look at me, I'm a terrible person!" Half the jokes were centered around heaping abuse on the smallest, wimpiest and least intelligent kid in the cast, and 90% of the time you could guess the punchline to every joke by thinking "okay, what's the meanest/most demeaning punchline possible here?" or "What punchline would cause Fletcher
the most pain?"
Ironically, the only major character who did not
take any Jerkass
levels was Alpha Bitch
Lexi — she stayed at the same Jerkass
level throughout, which means that she's often misinterpreted as having Took a Level in Kindness
because everyone else becoming jerks made her seem that much milder in comparison.
All in all, this started as a sitcom about prodigy kids who occasionally were douchebags — and ended up as a show about douchebags who occasionally remembered that they were prodigy kids.