I like Voyager and I like Enterprise. Most criticism of Enterprise I have seen was based on nothing
Actually, I think if someone doesn't like the show, it doesn't matter what he/she bases it on. The fact is, they DON'T like it.
And since viewer ratings for Enterprise were plain awful, I think there were a lot of people who just didn't like it.
My biggest beef with Enterprise was the entire idea of it being a prequel in the first place. We've just watched 24 seasons of Star Trek in which NO MENTION is ever made of Captain Archer and staff, and 21 seasons in which everyone relates to James T Kirk as being the pioneer of the federation, the hero of the galaxy etc.
And then all of a sudden, we create a series with Cpt Archer and Co who save the universe 837000 times. And yet nobody knows about them.
And the whole "watch them rub gel into each other eight times per season" got really old after the first time. If I really want to watch some skinny chick having crap rubbed on her, I'll Google it.
For 21 years, they built the continuity of the Star Trek universe, making sweeping changes to the relations between the races (the Federation/Klingon/Romulan alliance, for example), setting up the stage for a grand epic show, and then they shove it all under the rug, and we go to the delta quadrant and the Pre-Federation. WHAT THE FUCK??
Trek has always suffered from the "bad few seasons" syndrome. Even TNG's first and second season weren't that great. It just makes you wonder why it always seems to take Trek's writers three seasons to finally come up with some good plotlines.
DS9 was bloody AWFUL in its first two years, but after season three, it became by far the best Trek series.
Voyager was "jab-pencil-in-eyeball" kind of bad in the first seasons, but the last couple of seasons were pretty good. Same for TNG.
So why couldn't Enterprise recover? Well, maybe because the premise of the show really wasn't all that interesting to begin with. (and maybe because several of the 'actors' in the group were Harry Kim / Neelix / Wesley Crusher combined.)
They need some new writers, and they need them bad. They also need to do something more involved than Voyager or Enterprise. We have this whole universe to play with, so PLAY with it. We had a brilliant setup after DS9, only to have nothing done with it for a full decade.
Have more far reaching consequences. Stop resetting the clock after every episode. Instead of proclaiming "Nobody in the Galaxy can go faster than Warp Speed 5", and just leaving it like that, give us a few episodes where we see what that decision means for the galaxy, woven into the normal storyline where characters yap against each other.
The reruns are still getting good enough ratings, so there's definitely a demand for more Trek. Resting the show for half a decade really isn't going to bring back more viewers, if it ever