Originally Posted by horatio
I prefer Kes because she is cute, innocent, warm and friendly (especially to "lower lifeforms" like the Doctor) and, last but not least, curious and eager to learn. She is THE Trek character who made the words "explore strange new worlds ..." her own.
I agree that Seven brought more conflict into the show but at the same time she dominated the show too much alongside Janeway and many stories became a bit too blunt, direct-in-your-face-like, compared to the quieter influence of Kes.
So the Janeway-Seven-show point shows that Kes wasn't the only characters who was badly or underused.
I did miss Jennifer Lien as an actress on the show. I had always felt that she was among the better actors in the early days of VOY and her relationship with the Doctor was quite engaging.
Moving on -
Lien didn't have T&A and Jeri Ryan did, so they dumped her in favour of somebody they could use to sell magazine covers and promote the show with to hormonal guys - and it worked.
Fortunately Ryan herself is a good enough actress to work within those paramenters until they gave her things to do on the show - as has been well pointed out by others. Not that I ever particularly cared
about Seven much, but she had her moments.
However, the saturation of her within the show was a problem. She did come to dominate and just wasn't compelling enough to warrant it.