The first series in Germany is my favourite TV show. Raw, gritty and hilarious. It was the most real out of them all and that just made the comedy all the better. If they'd never made anymore after this I think it would still be a much-loved iconic classic. There's some episodes I prefer to others but I don't think there was a weak one in the 13 episode run. Everything came together effortlessly. And Oz was at his absolute best in this series. What a character.
For me, the second series was disjointed and inconsistent, and lacked the edge of the first. That said, there's some good episodes and very funny moments while they're in the UK - rubbing up against the pub landlord and staying at the manor, Oz reconnecting with his son... but once they go to Spain, I think it takes a nosedive and never recovers. There's no roughing it, not enough culture clash, no Wayne in the interior scenes, and several partners tag along which just gets in the way of the banter and fun. Moments like the lads going to the wrong villa or Oz at the Marbella hotel are too few and far between. They rarely resemble Auf Pet to me. There's a moment in Quo Vadis Pet where they're talking about Wayne and you can see Tim Spall's miles away, and Jimmy Nail's eyes are red from crying as Gary Holton's death is obviously getting to them. It's all a bit depressing really. Then it all just peters out with no real conclusion. I can slap on a DVD and watch any 1980's Auf Pet episode any time but the Spanish ones I only watch if I'm going through all the show.
The later ones have some good moments/episodes especially in Arizona. I like them in their own way after accepting them for what they are but it had simply been left too long to fully re-capture the same feel and magic of the 80's ones. I wish they'd done a third series in the 80's but Holton had died so it wasn't meant to be.