I discovered Lovejoy on A&E back in 1993 and loved every episode. Then I read the books by Gash and fell for them, too. (Although Lovejoy in the books is a radically different character from Lovejoy in the programs.) I especially enjoy the humor and cleverness of the writing, as well as the cast's performance of that good writing. McShane is at once lighthearted, dark, and self-doubting as Lovejoy. Tinker is clearly his comic relief (and much cleaner and more decent than in the books!), and serves well to soften Lovejoy's rough edges.
I found the quasi-romance between Lovejoy and Lady Felsham much more enjoyable than the Charlotte relationship, which was rather predictable compared to Jane's. And I definitely preferred Eric to Beth; never was sure where she was supposed to be in the family. Lovejoy was lovable and friendly. He actually endeared me to a brit (something really noteworthy for this hard-core Irishman!)
My wife and I still watch the taped shows whenever we need a dose of fun.