There's a lot of criticism of ST shows after VOY claiming they're NOT Star Trek. TNG is like the gold standard when comparing subsequent shows. And yet, I've heard that TNG wasn't well liked for it's first two seasons and that it probably only survived to a third season because of its syndicated status. I grew up on TNG and it ended up being some cherished television memories. But when I first saw "Encounter at Farpoint" as a small kid I wasn't too impressed. Keep in mind I had only seen a handful of episodes of the original series but it was already "classic" in my mind. Star Trek was supposed to have a dashing, heroic captain, the second in command Spock guy, who was solemn and strange-looking with pointy ears, and Sulu. This new Star Trek had some old bald guy as the captain! What's wrong with them? He's not going to be able to fight one-on-one with Klingons and alien monsters. Forget about any babes falling for him. This was pretty much the gist of my 7/8 year old impression of the show. Although it looked newer than the original Star Trek I had seen, it had a depressing look to it as well. I don't if it was the lighting or what, but I didn't like it too much. Overtime the bridge seemed to get brighter, Picard seemed to be more heroic, the uniforms got cooler...everything pretty much just got better. Fast forward, and I think it's one of the greatest SF shows ever, and it's MY Star Trek. But I've been rewatching the early episodes from Season 1 and 2 and I don't know if it's the knowledge of the rocky start the show had, the online criticisms of the first two seasons, but it FEELS like a show that's going to be cancelled. I like the characters and premise. And despite great production design everything feels kind of cheap. It almost looks cheesy. And the pace is incredibly slow. I don't mind it too much as I have plenty of time to watch it and take in the atmosphere and scenery of the show, but it's a little unsettling. It very much has the feel of those various syndicated sitcoms that never made it past a first or second season. Riker is a pretty likable character character as the show progresses. Early episodes just feel weird to watch him. Maybe it's a case of all the actors getting more comfortable with their character and the dialogue getting better There's definitely gems. Datalore is still great, and gave us one of the best Star Trek villains. I have yet to see the racist episode but I'm sure it'll only add to the feeling that this is NOT Star Trek and a poor successor to Kirk's crew. I can only imagine the disconnect between watching the excellent Shatner movies and than seeing this. With that said...looking at it purely as a science fiction show, it's incredibly interesting. "Time Squared" feels cheesy, pacing is very slow, and everything just looks and feels depressing. But it's just an intriguing story and I love the mystery of it.