Disclaimer: Just like with Aria, this is going to be about the series in general, not just the first season. So, beware of spoilers.
I initially held off on watching Bakemonogatari because people told me it was difficult to understand, convoluted and “deep”. In retrospect, yeah, I guess it was, but I think people exaggerate a lot when describing it. I’m not ashamed to admit that I didn’t “get it” the first time I watched it, and I still managed to have fun and enjoy it. I think it’s great even as just another supernatural drama show. It has romance, it has action, it has plot twists, it has lots of different kinds of characters. I guess the fact that it’s dialogue-heavy might still dissuade some people from wanting to watch it, but I think it’s a solid show nonetheless.
Anyway, I’ve since learned more about Nisio Isin’s writing style and subjects. I first noticed it in Nisemonogatari, when the conversation between Karen and Kaiki got philosophical. The last few episodes of Nise had even more of that, and then, when I watched Nekomonogatari: Kuro, I finally started thinking about “the meaning of it all”. I haven’t arrived at any comprehensive conclusions yet, and I haven’t actually written a lot about Monogatari before, but in the light of those thoughts I’ve had a lot of fun rewatching both Bake and Nise.
Second Season was the first instalment of Monogatari that I followed while it was airing. Not only was it a great experience to get a new episode of Monogatari every Saturday(and now it’s happening again because of Owarimonogatari, so yay), but I actually enjoyed Second Season for somewhat new reasons as well: I had finally started caring about the overarching story. It was great to see Hanekawa’s character development from Bake to Neko: Kuro to Neko: Shiro. I liked seeing more of Hachikuji’s backstory and the continuation of Nadeko’s story. Above all, though, I liked the new elements, i.e. Ougi and the darkness. Unfortunately, Hanamonogatari was not about those elements, but it was enjoyable in its own right. I thought Tsukimonogatari was pretty boring, but it did serve as a nice bridge to the next chapters, so I was happy with it.