While I still find this season a miss, it is an improvement in my view. The writing is a little sharper, the acting is better, the characters more defined, and the production is overall sharper (as it should get after its first year). And as much as I love TOS, TNG shouldn't be TOS, and this season moves further away from TOS (especially the look), heck just in the costume department the break is huge.
Yeah I'd agree. As great as some episodes were in the first season, there was still this cornball, "gee whiz" feel to the whole thing, like they were aiming it more towards a younger audience or something.
But in the second season you can feel the tone getting a bit more serious and adult, and the characters seemed to act more like actual professionals (who are less prone to saying things like "Woo-eee!", for example).