I'm confused how DS9 was "cruelly misjudged" when it regularly ranked in the syndication top-5 ratings-wise during its run?
I agree that the use of the word "cruelly" is pushing it, and that there is a certain element of revisionist history when some fans claim that DS9 pushed the boundaries of serialised television, but DS9 was somewhat misjudged at the time. I remember that BBC2 had a Star Trek night back in 2001 and it had a documentary about the history of Trek containing interviews with cast members and c-list celebrity fans, and it just glossed over DS9. It mentioned that the main character was a black guy, and then some comedian said show was like "a bus station in space", then they moved on to discussing Voyager. They spent more time discussing Kate Mulgrew's hair than they spent discussing DS9. And that wasn't a one-off event, it was typical during that time. DS9 has always been regarded well by the more hardcore trekkies, but non-viewers and casual trekkies had this notion in their heads that DS9 was a boring show because it never went anywhere. Admittedly, some of that is the show's fault because the first season was
like watching a bus station in space, but the show did change tack in the second and third seasons and that change didn't seem to be acknowledged by the general public
Now that the show is available on DVD and online streaming, and the notion that genre shows should be serialised/semi-serialised is the norm, DS9 is being revisited by those casual and non fans that once wrote it off, and they're realising that there's more to it than just a bus station in space. So, like the hipsters that we are, those of us that have been Niners from the beginning are enjoying the vindication.
Sure, we're being a little smug about it, and there's a tendency to exaggerate how bad we had it like a group of Yorkshiremen, but that's human nature for you.