Ash losing to Brawly, throwing a temper tantrum, and then spending a training arc on Dewford wasn't a surprise? Ash beating Wattson in a the blink of an eye with only Pikachu and then returning 10 episodes later to lose to his Manectric wasn't surprising?
Ash not getting all the starters for once wasn't surprising? Ash actually training and evolving his Pokemon wasn't surprising? A greater emphasis on the Pokemon personalities wasn't surprising? May and Jessie both capturing Wurmple wasn't a shock?
And that's just the tip of the iceberg for stuff they did in AG that they never did before. I could go into May's arc too, but I won't.
Do you even remember any of the above happening? There was tons of stuff they did in Hoenn that shocked people when the episode titles were first revealed, and D/P does the same, why is this so suprising?
The fact that I actually have to list this stuff amazes me, because the only reason you wouldn't know about this is if you didn't watch much of AG.