Having lived in NYC for 45 years, I have seen two very different incarnations of Times Square. The first in the 1970s & 80s was busy & commercial & much of that commerce involved the adult & porn industry. As a young man, it did not bother me personally, but it was not ideal for tourists & other visitors. During the 1990s, the area was changed completely & though I did not think it possible, the new Times Square is more unpleasant than the old. Visitors should see it -- it is the "crossroads of the world" -- but, they should be prepared for heavy crowds, traffic congestion, aggressive costumed characters who are happy to pose with you for photos, but expect to be paid & other vendors of every type.
The square is ringed with office buildings, so tens of thousands of working people add to the congestion. Almost all of the Broadway theaters are located within a block on the side streets that cross the square, adding to the congestion in the evenings and on matinee days. The largest discount theater booth is located on the square, with waiting lines. Finally, several tour companies operate city tours that originate at the edged of the square. This all means that visitors should expect to deal with crowds that fill the square in all but the wee hours of the morning (even then, there will be thousands of people).
Today's square is filled with flashing lights, streaming news, gargantuan ads & everyday a different temporary attraction or diversion. Every visitor should see it. But, see it on your way to or from the theater -- those Broadway theaters hold some of the greatest productions & performances in the world. See it at the beginning or end of a city tour -- the tour will show you that NYC has much, much more than Times Square. Or just walk through the square as an experience, then go & do something else this wonderful city has to offer!