I think TNG Season 1 and 2 suffered because they had crappy stories. Look at Season 1 of the original series, they had science fiction writers writing for the show. The show pretty quickly found its beat. The characters played off each other well. TNG had too many characters and they didn't know what to do with them. Leaving Engineering open was a huge mistake. Moving Geordi there was a good move, getting rid of Yar was another. (I know she left the show on her own). I think the show would have worked even better without Wesley. Once they had the character interactions in later seasons the show improved. One stand out Picard / Crusher episode was Attached. I think the other aspect of the show that hurt it was all the techy talk, the only good thing was they stuck with what they established. The original series never got caught up in all the techy BS.
One episode I really liked was Booby Trap, but why have Geordi stuck on a holo-deck figuring out the problem by himself. Why not introduce some of the other engineering characters. It just seemed the show used Wesley, and the holodeck as a crutch too many times.