I tend to agree with those weaknesses, but I still loved the show. I couldn't take my eyes off Dixie, but it wasn't because of her acting, which I always thought was atrocious. In the commentary, Cuse admits that he never really figured out what the orbs were, even in his own mind, so it's not surprising that the mythology wandered. Of course, this was before shows had five-year plans and bibles and podcasts and Internet fan groups filling in whatever backstory the show hasn't provided. They wrote an episode and got it on film, and if they were still working the next week, they did it all again.
I've only seen the first disc so far, but I remember watching the original series and groaning a lot at the post-Bly episodes -- and not always in a good way -- especially when the Elvis character came along. The football episode with Terry Bradshaw, on the other hand, was so cheesy it went beyond bad and hit good again. (A recapper on this site once wrote about cheese being like multiplying negative numbers: if a show has two cheesy qualities, they cancel each other out, but if you add a third, it's cheesy again, or something like that. I've forgotten who wrote it, and wish I could find it back.)
Weaknesses aside, though, I think I'll still laugh at the first Pete's Piece exchange, no matter how many times I see it:
Forget about it? You mean... rip it from my memory like a picture from a book? A picture of a small boy... kind of shy... with big ears who only wanted to be liked. And the laughing faces of his classmates, mocking him because he forgot to wear his pants to school? Is that what you mean?
Pete Hutter could have made the show worth watching all by himself, even without the awesomeness of Brisco, Bly, Bowler, Socrates, Wickwire, and Comet.
A couple interesting things that I'd completely forgotten since the original run of the show: Brisco and Dixie sleep together the first chance they get. I remembered it as a typical will-they-won't-they TV attraction. Also, I had no idea that Brisco never shot anyone. I'd also agree that the pilot's commentary is great: the perfect mix of behind-the-scenes technical stuff and nostalgic chat. I was also amazed at how well the guys remembered the show after 10+ years. You could tell it really meant a lot to them.
One really cool thing about this show is that I've shown the pilot to a few people with very different tastes in TV shows, and they all loved it. I think you have to be fairly quick to pick up on all the jokes, but other than that, you don't have to be a fan of a particular genre to enjoy it. A lot of successful shows had shaky first seasons. It's a shame Brisco didn't get a second season to figure out where it was going.