The difference is though, we'd had season after season of different types of stories and ideas. The creative teams had 'earned' the right to let their hair down when it came to the movies.
JJ's Trek does not have that luxury and as such feels superficial.
Huh? I don't get this at all. Why do you have to "earn" the right to make a fun, entertaining movie? Either the movie works or it doesn't work. Whether the filmmakers had "earned" enough Star Trek street cred doesn't make a bit of difference with regards to the finished product. All that matters is what's up on the screen.
And, just to belabor the point, did Harve Bennett and Nicholas Meyer have to "earn" the right to make THE WRATH OF KHAN? Or maybe they just knew how to make what is still the best Trek movie to date . . . .