We liked Whitney, but hated the Whitney character. But we kept watching, because we liked the other characters. I'm glad we did, because this show has really had continuity and character growth--with actual stated (not over-stated) reasons for the growth!
Whitney's annoying habits and character were slowly explained, a bit, and slowly modified, a bit, with understanding reasons. Same thing with the other characters. And I like that. No suddenly s/he is acting different because it's needed for that week's plot. And I love the new bartender. A good addition and very well-acted.
It's a refreshing change in a tv show.
I mean, I liked Friends, but the characters, for all that happened to them (marriages, divorces, etc), didn't change all that much. Monica wondered for years why guys she slept with on the first date weren't interested in a serious relationship. Ross and Rachel took how many years (?) to finally start addressing their feelings in a semi-mature manner. While it IS funny, it can get a bit boring.
BTW, I wrote a paper in college "Examination of the Narrative Structure of a Coming of Age Television Show," focusing on Joan of Arcadia and comparing it to both Wonder Years and Seventh Heaven. Got an "A,"
^Heh. When I was in college, I took an anthropology course and the professor was a bit looney. I had to wrote a paper on some part of the current culture, so I did a paper on the socio-anthropological importance of "The A-Team." I got an A and I even got it published in the college journal.
The sad part is that I completely BSed my way through it and just wrote what I knew the professor wanted to hear. I really didn't believe a word of it; I just knew it was the sort of thing that she would really be into. I even linked the "The A-Team" to policy decisions in the US bombing of Libya.