There's way more than two or three 'bad' episodes in the first season of Babylon 5. From my last run-through I still have the impression that most episodes are mediocre or worse, so the comparison to TNG's first two years is not made lightly. There's nothing quite as bad as say "Code of Honor" or "Up the Long Ladder" but nothing quite as good as "The Measure of a Man", so that balances out.
(or a selective viewing of the first season boiled down the 'essential' episodes, which is the approach that the AV Club's recent Babylon 5 reviews have suggested).
I ranted about that suggestion at the time too. Season one is what hooked me on to the show.
It is a season that begins pretty dreadfully, "The Gathering" is also pretty bad, it's mostly seriously subpar and quite frankly if I went into Babylon 5 just starting with the first season there's a very good chance I would have simply dropped it (as indeed many have
And the AV Club reviewer provides his recommendation of essential episodes in acknowledgement of the fact that many people have tried to watch the first season, found it crap and gave up... nor is he actually physically stopping anyone from watching the show however they like.
So it's a position that makes absolute sense. What worked for you doesn't work for everyone and vice versa.