TAS was extremely well done.
What they were able to squeeze into 24 minutes of storytelling was incredible.
And it was done at a time when there was still an excellent pool of writing talent in existence - not to mention the episodes that were done by former TOS writers.
To me, the problems that have always plaqued later Trek's was poor writing, and the fact that a not so good writer got ahold of control of the franchise.
But the problem is not unique to Trek.
Decent writers in Hollywood are few and far between. Which is probably why we are getting so much of these reality shows: No writers required, for the most part.
Maybe it's due to a decline in the quality of our schools - though good writers historically haven't necessarily owed their skills to typical classwork.
Maybe we're starting to see the results of decades worth of anti-intellectualism
and an American popular culture that ridicules people for being smart rather then encouraging and respecting true academic achievment.
The people who wrote for TOS and TAS grew up in an America where children were raised to be competitive. Terms like pride and shame really meant something and people were taught to earn recognition.
Whatever the reasons for the decline in decent writers, you need not apologize nor feel weird for liking TAS.
What those writers were able to do with 24 minutes of storytelling was, and still is - incredible!
I think there are a few causes.
First, I think the biggest problem is that back in 1973 there were only 3 networks on TV period. Now we have 5 major networks (What the hell, I'll include the CW in there) and hundreds of cable channels that all offer original programming. The rate of expansion in television has surpassed the rate of expansion of the U.S. population by leaps and bounds and therefore I believe that the talent pool is just spread thin.
The other part of it is the changing attitudes and consumer tastes. For some unknown reason CSI is still one of the most popular shows (and it's got 2 successful spinoffs, no less) and aside from the bogus science, the writing is pure drivel. But that's what the people want, right now so the bar has been lowered. That and the fact that half the shows on TV are reality shows that only require concept fruition and no creative storytelling (I'm not criticizing it, I'm just stating the facts) and the people eat it up (me too, and I admit it). I think the birth of the reality shows is simply a reaction to a limited amount of good writers in Hollywood to keep up with the demand of these hundreds of channels.
So there really isn't much of a call for it right now and Trek's problem over the last 10 years is they've been creating product for a mid 1980's to mid 1990's audience that doesn't translate to this generation and frankly hasn't been compelling enough to hold anyone's attention.
But I digress...