Well, the Pakled storyline is as "idiotic" as something like Trouble With Tribbles.
TTWT was charming. The Pakled storyline was just dumb and a waste of time that added nothing of value to anyone's character.
They should have focused entirely on the Wesley and Picard plotline instead in a more interesting scenario, possibly as a bottle episode with them both trapped somewhere and depending on each other, which would soften Picard's character and humanise Wesley.
Personally if I was writing TNG, Wesley would not have been a whizkid, but just a troubled kid with massive potential who needed a father figure. Ultimately after developing their relationship for a few seasons (and that between Beverely Crusher and Picard) I would reveal that Picard is in fact Wesley's father