Okay, it would be stupid to say this was the perfect series, but ever worse would be to dismiss it outright..
So I'm not going to sugar coat it, Endless Eight is AWFUL, there's no way around it, it's Haruhi Suzumiya does Groundhog Day, but to discount the WHOLE series just because of that is a grave mistake, as EVERY other episode in this season is pure gold.
Bamboo Leaf Rapsody begins to fill in some of the blanks we have, regarding the 'events' of Two years prior, which seems to have been the start of Haruhi's powers.
Then we have The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya, a 5 parter detailing the filming of 'The Adeventures of Mikuru Asahina' (also known as Episode 0) and I can say HANDS DOWN they are the best five episodes in the whole of Haruhi, and I'm counting season 1 as well.
So does this season match up to the first? no, probably not, with 1/2 the season wasted by Endless Eight it would be silly to say it was as good as the first, but is this season worth buying? HELL YES, I've already put my preorder in. I would buy it for The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya alone.