When SGU started I don’t think people knew what to expect. The premise of being stuck on a ship traveling the universe, with no control drew comparisons between the original series, Atlantis, BSG and Sliders, with the latter being the most accurate. From the first episode, the show has not been entertaining and there is something to be said for the acting.
The Stargate series was always cheesy and low budget, but it’s saving grace were the dynamics between the characters and the predictable yet entertaining writing. Most fans were probably happy to hear that Stargate was getting the serious treatment, allowing for a more realistic view into the universe. So far, it just isn’t working. Most of the cast can’t act, and the storylines are far from entertaining. The show seems to be trying far too hard to be taken seriously, with many episodes revolving around a need or dilemma. This is similar to the original series or Atlantis, except where in the previous serious we would have some comedy dialog or action, on SGU we have a lot of glaring and snippy bantering.
The recurring plot point of the civilians wanting to gain control of the ship is not entertaining at all. Colonel Young continually makes stupid decisions, and obviously ignoring the IOA is going to have negative consequences. The attempt for civilians to take over the ship was interesting, but resulted in nothing. The characters are aggravating as well. Eli is a kid who happened to solve a puzzle in a computer game and thus has equal status to Dr Rush, an established expert in his field? Sergeant Greer’s tough guy routine got old almost instantly, and there isn’t anything likeable about the character. His blind loyalty to Young makes me wonder if there is much of a man behind the uniform.
One of the most annoying things about the show is that the Stargates don’t seem to have much relevance to the plot of any of the episodes. The Stargates are simply the means to travel to whatever planet they happen to be in range of when they don’t need to take the shuttle. Stargates could be replaced by beaming technology or shuttles permanently for all the difference it would make. For the ship being filled with the random assortment of people and equipment in the room at the time the 9th chevron was activated there is also an awful lot of Earth equipment such as leather couches and pillows and sheets. Could the producers not think of any way to make these things alien, or was the Ancient culture coincidently similar to that of modern western society?
I’m kind of tired of every episode ending with a near 3 minute music video, once again showing everyone being depressed and feeling hopeless. These are the type of things that should be shown and developed on the show, not implied through sad faces and bad music. Even when the show seems like it could be interesting such as Young leaving Rush on a planet, the show never comes back to it’s just forgotten. It seems the show is trying far to hard to be serious and forgetting it’s roots. It has sacrifices the character dynamics and sense of adventure that contributed to the previous series successes and replaced them with failed attempts to be dramatic and suspenseful. It’s only in it’s second season so it may yet get better, but at present there is a good reason it only has half a million viewers while airing on Tuesdays.