Star Trek: The Next Generation was a lighting-in-a-bottle event in television history that may never be replicated again. There were just too many strange circumstances and off-the-wall castings that turned Star Trek TNG into the cultural phenomenon it became. Originally, the series was reviled by certain "die-hard Star Trek fans" of the era for choosing to focus on a new set of Star Fleet officers. In addition to the vocal outcry, Next Generation took a while to find its voice. Truthfully, the series didn't become a massive hit until the end of its second season and the extended hiatus it experienced before the commencement of its third.
Comparing the first couple of seasons of Next Generation with the latter batch is akin to trying to compare Romulans and Vulcans. There are some commonalities, but the pronounced differences make them wholly unique entities. In the video linked above, you can check out a funny compilation that selects three seconds from every episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.