When I first watched Brotherhood, I hated how they essentially ruined the original episodes. I wasn't fond of the silly chibis or the fast pacing, or the voice actor for Alphonse. I was tainted by the 2003 series and had a vision of what Fullmetal Alchemist should be. What stopped me from finishing the series was how they utterly failed to live up to the Nina story.
Now I've been told that the story vastly improves after the twelfth episode, because that's when it goes with the manga's story and it isn't playing catchup. That's another reason why I'm giving it another shot, because I've supposedly only seen the shitty episodes. The first episode was fairly good, and out of the Brotherhood episodes I've seen it's easily the best. It introduces the setting, Alchemy, redstone, the Elric Brothers and has a fair bit of action. It also foreshadows that Furher King Bradley may in fact be a bad guy, and shows his badass sword powers.
The second episode was alright, even though it's not as dark as the Elric's origins in 2003, it was still pretty brutal and emotional. I still prefer how the 2003 version did things, but that creepy giant eye was really cool. I'm guessing that the Anti-Spiral guy is going to be important later on, or else they wouldn't have included him. Also, don't answer if this is answered later, but why does human transmutation=viewing the gate?
Third episode was pretty average. There's no birdman reveal and Edward and Alphonse look a lot less clever in this version. Also Edward has become the most Euphoric Atheist outside of Reddit and Rose has turned into a dumb white girl who can't do shit. The chibiness of this episode also bothered me, and ruined the shonen action I was looking forward. Also, Cornello was dumber and was a worse villain. In the 2003 version, this episode was done a lot better, not just because Cornello was smarter, but also because it covered the "Is Religion just to lie to people" story in a tactful manner that didn't make both parties look like jerks. In case you don't remember, Cornello had rebuilt the town and turned it to a utopia because of his redstone and organization under religion. He was kindly and shit as well, even though he was secretly using them. Edward also wasn't euphoric in the original, but rather tried proving his disbelief in a tactful manner instead of being a jerk.
The Nina episode was a lot better than I remembered, and still had an emotional and dark message without using several episodes to develop character. I was also reminded of how badass Scar is. My only problem with this episode is that Shou Tucker was a lot less human in the brotherhood version. It was clear in the 2003 version that if he didn't make a talking chimera, he would be forced to live in the streets because he would be out of a job, just like how running out of money was what prompted him to transmute his wife in the first place. He also showed regret for his actions instead of maniacally saying "We're the same!". Despite these faults, it was still an excellent episode and I'm looking forward to the next one.
Episode Five was really good, and managed to blend humour with drama well. Some scenes weren't animated well, but the fights were fantastic. Also hopefully we will see more of Rose, and hopefully she'll be better written in future episodes.
Episode seven had one big problem: it's reveal wasn't big or anything. So for someone that doesn't know that Philosopher's stones are made of people it lacks all sorts of emotional depth compared to the 2003 version. What was a twist in the original series was just a fucked up fact presented as something that's only kind of important in Brotherhood. The Elric's also aren't acting as disappointed, sad and angry as they did in the original. I mean, the only way they can get their bodies back now is to kill tons of people. They should be furious or devastated. In this episode they were a little peeved, and curious as if they needed to find out more.