The Onion AV Club sort of nailed it when it said the show, at least in its first season, was kind of a one-gag premise (“Todd is a horrible fraud and jerk and let’s show him doing fraudulent and jerkish things”) that was based on (paraphrase) the hit-or-miss charms of David Cross, whom they characterized as being really funny in about one out of three of these (soon fairly repetitive) gags. There’s some broad visual humor involving Todd soiling himself, Todd having an erection lasting several hours, etc. etc. The reviews also (rightly, as to the first season) faulted the show for not really having any well developed other characters. Will Arnett is probably the closest they got, and he’s just being an over the top jerk too (which admittedly he does even better than Cross). Dave just sits around smirking and tormenting Todd for most of the first season, and the love interest is pretty but extremely superficial and implausible (as written).
There may be a more focused attempt to develop good subplots and characterization (which Arrested Development had in spades) this season.
Part of what hampers my enjoyment a bit is that unlike when he was playing Tobias, a vain but pathetic, but never bombastic, loser, Cross was a good figure of fun, pity, sympathy. Cross’s reputation IRL precedes him as being an often-angry, arrogant, opinionated, rude . . . jerk. To the extent that Cross had much more creative input here than in AD, I’m often taken out of the moment by thinking Todd Margaret is kind of just Cross being Cross (Google his fairly numerous rants and not-too-funny political diatribes and/or shouting matches with hecklers in his stand-up).
I’ll continue to give it a chance but aside from the sometimes one-dimensional characterization, I wonder how this plays out as an ongoing show given that it’s kind of a serialized caper/heist story rather than something that you can imagine running for years. The Brits seem to do a better job of making (and enjoying watching) those kind of one-off series-or-two shows, U.S. audiences (and networks I guess) seem to want a show that can run for at least six years and get into syndication.