Does base R suck?
Reece Goding has written a very long article about his trials and tribulations after using R for a year. I won't attempt to summarise it all, but at a high level: He recognises that R is a great tool for certain tasks, specifically mathematics and statistics and functional programming. He then goes into a very lengthy and detailed list of major and minor quibbles on a variety of parts of the language.
Many of his criticisms are valid and come from the fact that base R has been built up iteratively as a series of patches for S. There are lots of inconsistencies in base R. Learning it can be frustrating and confusing.
However. I think much of his criticism misses the point. R is great as an interactive language. It's great for data analysis, modelling and statistics. The Tidyverse is also great, and can be all you need. However, R is not a general purpose language. And that is OK. There are lots of general purpose languages (including Python) that are much much worse at interactive data analysis. This review skips over that fact.