I blame Dan Curry!
I kind of kid. During the initial run of TNG, teh two effects producers Curry and LEgato (until Legato left to do DS9, you could always see a distinct difference between the two with Legato's work sharper, and Curry's a lighter softer and more lite.
I know Dan is working as an adviser to the group who is doing season two and I honestly was wondering if his perspective would be for a softer looking presentation.
I hope I am wrong. Though as stated it is still far superior to what we have for season two.