S1 TNG had a lot of sloppy writing and pretty much all the characters, male and female, came off poorly at some point or other. One can argue the writers didn't have a handle on the characters yet, but even so some of the things they had the characters say and do was just awful. I think the early TNG novels handled the characters better overall. Yar was handled particularly badly and it didn't help that Denise Crosby was lousy in the role and completely unconvincing in the part. Here it wasn't just poor writing but also bad casting.
S2 generally handled the characters better. Pulaski had some grit to her that Beverly Crusher lacked. Even when Crusher returned I never bought into her beyond the role of doctor although her performance improved immeasurably. Crusher in command of the ship was pure bullshit I never found convincing. Ditto with Troi.
TNG would eventually offer up some decent roles for women, but generally they were guest roles. The show didn't yet have the guts to feature a truly forceful female regular. It's sad in a way because by the late '80s we'd already seen a badass Elizabeth Ripley in the Alien
films several years previously.
And note that only a few years later other genre shows started to do better than TNG with regular female characters. One of the very best was Dana Scully in The X-Files.
I'd take her over any woman seen in contemporary Trek.