I am a little appalled by some of the criticisms regarding this show. Well, yes. This show is about a womanizing man doing stupid stuff. That is the whole point. It doesn't have to be the Animaniacs. It doesn't have to be the loud Spongebob Squarepants either.
Not to say this show is completely stupid. Yes, I did underestimate it as a kid but eventually I took a liking to it. Looking back at this as an older person, I actually got some of the jokes I never understood as a child; mainly, the movie references. They don't always try to throw a pop cultural reference at your face and expect you to laugh, which I find more preferable. For example, the episode "Rasho-moron" whose title is based on a Japanese movie named "Rasho-mon". For those who have never heard of it, it was considered one of Japan's finest movies (right up there with "Citizen Kane" for the United States). The episode "Rasho-moron" actually parodies the movie to an extent, mainly the plot element of recounting the same story as told from different people. So to this show's credit, it did have people working on it who happened to appreciate high-quality films and animation.
But what makes this show memorable? Well, it's one of those few programs on Cartoon Network marketed towards children that stars an adult as a main character. Naturally, this gives the show an advantage for its larger target audience. It's one of those cartoons you can look back on and feel little shame for having liked it.
But naturally, the best thing the show had going for it was the titular character, Johnny Bravo. He is mainly characterized by putting the moves on various attractive women, which usually ends up with him getting pounded to a pulp (it's nice to know this had some slapstick). While he does come off as a bit of a jerk (and even a bully, especially towards his best friend Carl), he can also be a real sweetheart. He is also well-known for being a mama's boy who lives in a household with just his mother (and no known father).
Most of the episodes often involve Johnny doing his standard comedic routine and due to his oafishness, ends up in weird situations. He was kidnapped by aliens, he had beaten up Santa Claus after mistaking him for a burglar, and even teamed up with Adam West to rescue his mother (who both ended up misleadingly believe her to be taken by mutant mole people). There is no general order of storyline here but aren't all Cartoon Cartoons are?
But what about Mister Bravo himself? How is his character? Well, he may seem like a flat character at times but he does show some development (though it may only last until the end of the episode). While most women would detest his flirting, there are actually some who actually liked it (though possibly out of desperation such as the werewolf lady). There is also the fact that Johnny has a strong relationship to his mother to the point where he tries to protect her from getting hurt in new relationships and cheering her up when she's sad, which can lead to some genuinely heartfelt moments.
I think one of the best episodes is the one explaining how he got his muscles. Apparently, he was a very thin and wimpy teenager who was often picked on by the jocks at his high school. He had an infatuation with this cheerleader girl who sympathizes with him and often tries to convince the jock boys to stop picking on him. When a dance was approaching, Johnny wanted to ask her out but he looked at himself and thought she was too good for him. So he spent a lot of time working out in the house which eventually yielded some tremendous results. Johnny's new build gave him the confidence to ask the girl out but she moved out before the dance had even happened, after which he would never see her again until several years later. This episode gave us a better understanding of Johnny's character and motivation.
Does this show hold up? Yes, actually. A muscle-clad man with a funny hairdo who is a jerk with a heard of gold, "Johnny Bravo" shall remain a treasured classic cartoon.