I've sadly discovered within the past year, watching the old shows again on Antenna TV and Me TV, that several characters I used to love now strike me as obnoxious.
Just tonight I was watching a very early episode of "Bewitched" (Darrin hadn't even met Endora yet), and I was thinking once again how ridiculous it is that Samantha would give up her amazing powers for THAT?! It makes zero sense. (Of course, nothing in the show makes sense. If the witches are a thousand years old, how come Endora still looks old enough to be Samantha's mother? Shouldn't Samantha have caught up to her by now? Or did Samantha stop aging at 30, but Endora stopped aging at 55? But that's another story ...)
"I Love Lucy" is still my favorite TV show of all time, but now I do see that Lucy Ricardo is an obnoxious character with few redeeming qualities. She'd make a horrible friend, whereas Ethel Mertz would probably make a great friend. Lucy's other characters, Carmichael and Carter, never had any redeeming qualities for me in the first place.
I used to like Hazel a lot, but now she seems an obnoxious buttinsky who in real life would be fired the first week (of course, the show thought of that and set it up that she was Mrs. Baxter's nanny and Mr. Baxter wouldn't dare fire her.)
But the character I found endearing as a kid that I absolutely can't stand now is Gracie Allen on "Burns and Allen." I think now that stupidity isn't funny -- it's just stupid. And she's so positive and cheerful in her 100% wrongness -- and says every line the same way with the same expression on her face -- and she's always so dressed up and serving coffee -- and butting into everything she has absolutely no business butting into -- that I've reached the point I can't watch that show any more.
I also don't care for Edith Bunker any more, but for almost the opposite reason. She started off as an absolute dumbbell, but as the 1970s wore on, that became very politically incorrect. So she was still portrayed as somewhat on the dumb side, but full of worldly wisdom and insight, and it just didn't ring true.
I know I only named female characters, but I guess they were the only ones I found endearing when I was younger.