I'm a big fan of D/W, so of course my opinion is coloured by that, but yes, I think the programs have potential. The FD in particular is already much better than I expected, I already prefer the concept to last year's program. They bring drama to the music without getting frantic about that, which is something they have learned over the years. I agree with other posters that their tango FD was crucial in that respect, they had to be precise and controlled there and skate "together" throughout the thing, while still displaying their trademark attack and speed. It's perhaps even my favourite program of theirs, I also thought the coldness and aggression they displayed there worked really well, not every tango has to be sultry.
Giving my two cents to the dreaded rivalry discussion: I think what V/M, despite all their brilliant qualities and more natural talent, lack compared to D/W now is sharpness, the way D/W are just on point when presenting their programs. I thought that V/M's Carmen was choreographically superior to D/W's FD, but V/M struggled with it all year and when they finally got it right at Worlds IMO it still wasn't as sharp and forceful as a program with that theme needed to be. And so D/W won on superior performance of a fine, but inferior choreography. They elevated their material in a way V/M couldn't. And of course they had the superior SD, I thought Zueva or whoever makes the choreographic decisions there, really didn't serve V/M well with their SD that totally de-emphasized the polka aspect of, you know, the polka SD.
I'm sure a lot of that has to do with V/M constantly having to manage Tessa's injury, training has to be paced accordingly etc. When you look at their Olympic programs, or how they skated in the FD at Worlds 2008, there's just a snap and a precision there that they don't quite have now IMO. But of course they are still really brilliant and I appreciate that they went away from the "young love" FDs that really dominated their repertoire until 2010. Seeing them branch out and do interesting new concepts has been a treat.
Whereas D/W really pushed themselves in other ways. I already said that I think the tango was a milestone for them, a big risk to do an FD that actually accentuates your weaknesses, without sweeping music etc. and they struggled with it all season (Charlie in particular IMO) but at Worlds it was brilliant. Die Fledermaus had them do something light and airy, which was something they hadn't really emphasized in FDs until then. And Notre Dame was basically "new and improved D/W doing their trademark high drama", it wasn't as out of control and wild as the program would have been skated by them in 2009 or 2010 IMO, their take this time around was much more nuanced. IMO the program, despite not being the height of creativity, really highlighted how far they'd come since 2010. The FD this year also doesn't go the obvious, arm-flailing "all action all the time" route, both music cuts and choreography are more subtle and detailed than that.