After reading the TV Tropes article about the show, I decided to rewatch the show to see why I liked it. (I was driven in particular by one very harsh comment that said anyone who liked the show was deluding themselves... Whoever wrote that, shame on you.)
I still think it's a good show. I like a few of the characters. I think Lube, in particular, is hilarious. Randolph and Mr. Sunshine are good too. Both Cat and Dog have their good and bad points: Cat is smart, and would be interesting to talk to - but he can be a real jerk. Dog's someone I can imagine having fun with - but he's an idiot with a one-track mind. Their relationship is better to relate to if you have a brother or sister. It helped that despite everything they did, they did love each other deep down. The moments where Cat sticks up for Dog are some of the best.
As for the villains - Winslow was simply an annoying jerk. Not exactly the worst guy in the show. Rancid Rabbit was the Red Guy
of the show - sometimes he didn't try to antagonize CatDog but most of the time he did, and most of the time when that happened CatDog won. That's one thing nobody seems to remember. There were a lot of episodes where they won.
But the Greasers... They were similar to the Kankers
in that I never liked how they beat the crap out of CatDog. I can take a lot of the stuff Cat gets because it's slapstick - and as The Nostalgia Critic
says, "Big laughs come from big pain." Besides, dogs in real life, when they chase something, do it because of their instincts. I can hardly blame Dog for acting on his instincts... Unlike the Kankers though, the Greasers could be funny (especially Lube) and we did find out more about them as the series went on. That, plus CatDog did win against them and sometimes even worked with them.
The jokes, by and large, work for me at least... I like the plots - a few episodes remind me of old Laurel and Hardy shorts, and a lot of them are enjoyably silly. I like the score, which is heavy on slide guitar. The songs are good - even if you hate the show you may like the songs they put in.
Overall, it's not a mean-spirited piece of crap like you'd think. I may be saying this because I grew up with it, but I like the show and think it's good.
And how is slapstick mean-spirited? Am I out of touch?...