This show was one of my very favorates when I was a child, and it still is today.
It was a fantasy with no special effects, we saw an Alternate America where phones, slushy drinks, or bowling balls are dangerously loaded with bad karma. Working the driving range as a range boy can mean certain death. Being able to time travel back in the hours once daylight savings time hits. Or a road trip to the Hover Dam can be a war for total supremacy. But most of all the characters were great they were interesting and you actually cared and emphisised with them. The show was a coming of age saga, all the experences and fights they had were metaphors on common fears and anxiety kids have while growing up.
Older Pete was more down to earth. And Young Pete was a tough, gruff, rebel. Both of them were like comic book heroes who everyday always had to fight evil forces while just trying to make it though life okay. The villians/supervillans were always ordinary looked but somehow unusal and corrupt in a way. From a slimy aluminum salesman, Papercut a scummy cowboy/samurai who uses paper as a deadly weapon, or my favorate Endless Mike who has a rather daft first name and is evil to the core always for no apparent reason on an endless crusade making life hard for both Petes. Of course both Pete's allies at arms were Arte a Superman like character who doesn't physically look or ever dress like a superhero (he kind look like Waldo) but his actions always ring true to his words. Bus Driver Stu who suffers from endless depression due to breaking up one too many times with his significant other. Ellen, another down to earth character like Old Pete, but is somewhat vunerable in a way even she isn't fully immune to the strangness of Welsville. Nona (Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Michelle Trachtenberg) who just like Ellen is for Old Pete is a young female counterpart to Young Pete, sweet sometimes strange but can be just as tough and rebelious as Young Pete when the ocassion calls for it.
Seasons 1 and 2 were really good. The story and characters constantly developed helping us give a sense of time knowing how much the characters have grown up. But unfortunately the show suffered misdirection in Season 3, even though there were still some good episodes in some places the story's direction seemed rather unfocused as if the writers didn't know where they wanted to take the show and a lot of things got lost in the process. For one thing key characters, Endless Mike, Ellen, Nona, and even Old Pete were hardly visable any more, it was a major blow because all four of them were one of the best things about the show. And even though Young Pete could carry the show out even he wasn't enough, there was only so much this guy could do. The focus of the season should of been more about Old Pete and Ellen's developing relationship to one another as well as Young Pete and Nonas developing friendship it would have been better. Another tragidy is this show never evolved to the Silver Screen, it would have made a better movie for Nick than any of the ones it currently has.
Sadly, the show came to a rather untimely end. We never got to see the brothers coming of age journey evolve from children to men. Still both Pete and Pete have became mytholgical heroes that well never die, that still live in our hearts forever. Sure Harry Potter may dominate fantasy now, but these two came first and are still the best.