I realize that I am in the minority here, but I liked the show when I first saw the pilot, and liked it even more when I re-watched it last night. I picked up on some of the themes that I didn't pay much attention to the first time. Some of these directly answer the nits I have read in this forum.
1) The aliens don't have good weapons: The aliens took over and wiped out 90% of the Earth's population in less than 6 months. I would say they have pretty good weapons. They are also toying with the remaining population. If the humans use small arms only, they react in kind. It seems the resistance in South Boston escalated to RPG's, and were promptly repayed with a nuke. It appears that their air to ground weapons are tailored to fit the situation. One shot by the flying ship took out all of John Pope's men.
2) It is stupid that the Second Mass. can walk around in daylight: The show dealt with this directly. When the aliens first came, they came quickly and in mass numbers. They did the major population purges then. Remember the town where all of the popultion was hearded together, the kids taken and the rest nuked? So now the great majority of the aliens are gone (where we don't know), and those remaining are being very systematic in dealing with the survivors.
Tom, the Captain and the General discussed the strategy of creating multiple groups of 300. The aliens currently can (I think by choice) auto detect groups of humans of 500 or more. I think it's more about the most efficient use of their resources. The talk went somthing like: "What happens when they target groups of 300? We'll split into smaller groups. So are we going to keep splitting into smaller and smaller groups until they target and kill single people?"
The aliens detect humans by heat, (maybe bright light) and sound. It seems that they currently have their air and/or orbit sensors set to detect larger heat signatures. That's why the flares drew a ship. But, once again, the aliens didn't bother to mop up. One tactical bomb and back home. They are very efficient in the use of their current soldiers and resources. They are now mostly concerned with controlling the city of Boston. They set aside small squads in trap areas (food stores and the armory). They are taking out the larger groups of humans outside of the city first. If you don't think the alien strategy is realistic enough for you, it's your right to complain. But it's not a flaw in the writing.
3) Tom's history lessons: Have you ever been to a dinner party withh a college professor? Besides, even the writers are having fun with it. Hal to Tom; "Dad, can you lay off the history lessons around the guys?" I kind of like this, and think it is being set up to be a very important element in the plot as to how to defeat the aliens (Tom already mentioned tunneling under the main Boston ship)
4) I hate the writing style: Ok, so you do. I think it is written much less in soap opera style than were V, Heroes or Flash Forward. The characters are being given some nuance. For instance, Captain Weaver could go from, "I don't care what you think, it's an order" to waiting silently and checking his watch while the group has a "normal" moment watching the kids on the skateboard before nodding to Tom to break it up to leave. Or, the Captain giving it to Tom about his errors in getting captured at the Armory and then letting him go to find his son.
The conversations between Tom and John Pope are witty. The writers even had fun with that. John complained about the lack of good conversation with his less than educated gang. Tom's invitation for John to join the resistance was baited with: "At least there will be good conversation."
There is just a hint of humor, which is appropriate in this part of the story. Tom telling his son to "get a room", when he had already done so, followed by the warning about the paper thin walls after the men in the next room made it clear they could hear everything. There is even some dark humor. "What do you think he's thinking...Nothing now." Or "Cueball thought he was better because he brought chocolate...he wasn't."
The previews hint of much more mystery involving the aliens. I can't wait for tonight's episode. Flame away if that is your penchant. But I invite those that enjoy the show to post about your thoughts on what's going to happen, the cool parts you remember, and the little things that some might have missed. (I want a good shot of a skitter's back to see if a harness is there).