I think the problem is much more with the cheesy execution than the characters or storylines themselves. A premise like this really deserves an edgier and more adult take, but the tone here is just a little too cutesy and sentimental and family friendly, along the lines of a Terra Nova, Revolution or Surface.
I think there are a lot of valid complaints to make about the format, but too family friendly and in the vein of Terra Nova
? C'mon. Rapey McRaperson has his ex-girlfriend chained up in a literal dungeon, dismembered animal and people parts get shown on a regular basis, and murder seems to be the town's chief industry at the moment (with another one hinted at in the pilot). And if they follow the book, things are only going to get much, much worse.
This was originally going to be made by Showtime, so obviously it would have been much more hardcore there than on the AARP... err, I mean CBS network, but it's still not what I would call family friendly by a country mile.