Just to be clear, whilst you may “feel” that way, it absolutely is not the case. This is the product of several hardcore Star Trek fans being the writers. It’s kind of the exact opposite of what you’re suggesting (which appears to be a stranger doing paint-by-numbers).
Basically, you guys (everyone moaning about “It’s not quite Trek… ” ) are fucking hilarious, because you’re all me in 2005/2006, talking about Doctor Who. This is nuTrek in the same exact what that was nuWho. Just as with Who, the majority of the writers are hardcore fans of the original TNG (the nuWho writers typically being hardcore fans of 70s and 80s Who).
Picard being like that is a recurring plot/character point in TNG. Recurring. Not one-off, not occasional. Recurring.
This a great illustration of nostalgia/assumption trumping what actually happened. I don’t mean that in a mean way, but as a simple matter of fact. Picard, in the actual TNG show, has some serious issues with how he treats people. He’s not always a nice guy, he’s not always thoughtful - he gets unreasonably angry or pushy some of the time (this is especially true in S1-S4. He’s willing to burn bridges, and so on. Do you people not remember who Troi and Crusher (and even Riker sometimes) were constantly having to take him aside and say “Y’know, maybe you’re being kind of a dick to so and so? Hmmmm?”. Because it happened a LOT.
Once corrected, he tends not to fuck up again. He learns. He pays better attention. But he does make the mistake about new people, especially young people. Sometimes he works it out by himself, too, but often not. When I was a kid, he wasn’t actually a very sympathetic character to me, because I thought he was kind of a dick, because he was kind of a dick. But I respected him and his morality and that is something that hasn’t faltered here. His morality and can-do/must-do attitude have remain absolutely solid. He was never afraid to take the risks himself, and no in a overbearing Kirk-ish way, but in a “Someone has to do this, and I should to prevent others suffering” way.
People forget how much he relied on his crew, and like to think of him as an island, but he never was. Hell, he broke in the 4 lights scenario, it’s just he got rescued by his crew just before the dude worked it out.
Re: standalone episodes being the best bits of SF shows I am just not even sure what to say to this, because uhhhh, based on a lifetime of watching SF shows, I find no truth in that whatsoever. Quite the contrary.