What felt sharp and inspiring when I was a child now feels flat and comic booky. I can see why this franchise came to an end. At the same time, I can see why these characters and narratives are beloved. We tend not to love Othello or Hamlet; those characters and narratives are too complex. Instead, in ST, TNG, we have an ensemble cast that allows us to identify both deeply with one character and to feel, in the tensions between Whorf and Picard, for example, the tensions that exist within ourselves. In this way, there is some advantage, I guess, to the kind of distribution of the richness of human identity among some flattened character types.
The show remains a candy cane confection for me, one I value.