I was expecting lens flare, a lack of character stuff, lots of big explosions in spaaaaace, a bad guy I didn't care about, and to thoroughly enjoy myself - that being what I got in the first one.
What I got was that, only with more character stuff than I was expecting, a bad guy I felt at least some empathy for, and enjoying myself more than thoroughly!
The references - how I loved them. I'm a massive geek, and you can happily shove references to Nurse Chapel, tribbles, etc. up there and keep me very happy.
What made me _really_ happy were the big two - it took me a good ten minutes to remember where I knew the name Carol Marcus from, and the reverse Kirk/Spock death scene, which was just perfect.
Oh, and plus points for adding a new female character to the crew - who is actually important to the plot, and (while she's largely useless when facing her father) has a positive role to play when dealing with the first missile they deconstruct. And having Uhura leap in there and rescue Spock.
I have a couple of quibbles with the show - awesome though Benedict Cumberbatch is, he's the wrong colour to be playing Khan Noonien Singh, and while the dialogue is generally fine, at no point does it really sparkle. Oh, and Uhura complaining that her boyfriend, a Starfleet Officer didn't check with her before trying to save a planet? Really?
But overall it worked very well for me. Julie and I came out of it and chatted all the way home about our favourite bits. Can't really ask for more than that.
Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comments there.