All that is wrong with the world…

October 10, 2010

Stargate Universe still trying too hard

Filed under: Entertainment — Tags: , , , , — allthatiswrong @ 8:09 pm

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.


  1. […] told ahead of time, and some of them learned of the cancellation via Twitter. SGU has had its share of problems, even spawning a community of people who dislike the show. Can it be saved via fan support, given […]

    Pingback by Stargate Universe Cancelled | JetLib News — December 17, 2010 @ 3:27 pm

  2. This show sounds a lot like the “Starlost” than anything else

    Comment by Kyderdog — December 17, 2010 @ 3:47 pm

  3. I just started watching it and like it. I haven’t noticed any acting issues detract from the episodes.

    Comment by Adam — December 17, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

  4. […] told ahead of time, and some of them learned of the cancellation via Twitter. SGU has had its share of problems, even spawning a community of people who dislike the show. Can it be saved via fan support, given […]

    Pingback by Android OS news » Stargate Universe Cancelled — December 17, 2010 @ 4:30 pm

  5. I’ve seen a handful of comments like this; perhaps I’m in the minority, but I thought this show was *more* realistic about the difficulty of figuring out alien technology without killing yourself. I felt it hearkened back to old hard SF from the Golden Age, while SG-1 was a little more fantastic-al.

    Comment by Dutch Uncle — December 17, 2010 @ 4:41 pm

  6. I quit watching the show a while back. Why do you have to be British to write good sci-fi anymore?

    Comment by Sam — December 17, 2010 @ 4:50 pm

  7. There was a missed opportunity for the show to have at least a little fun exploring rather than showing an endless parade of unhappy and angry characters.

    Comment by Shawn — December 17, 2010 @ 5:31 pm

  8. Holy crap, maybe the main theme of Stargate Universe is so subtle, people just missed it. I thought it was subtle as a sledgehammer.

    The story is about walking up Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs, starting from the most fundamental need at birth: Air. Then water. Then food. Predictably, we’d expect it to progress through “safety”, “love/belonging”, “self-esteem”, and “self-actualization” and beyond. The seventh episode of Season 2 is the major turning point in walking up this tree when the crew (as it represents humanity as a whole, or a single individual) takes conscious control of their destiny.

    The melodrama and the edgy anger and despair was put in context of the most incredible environment — humanity’s “destiny”. You think about your own life and what kind of petty, dark desires. How many people wake up and really think about how improbable life is? Or how most people grow up not knowing who they are, what they are here for, or feeling they really shouldn’t be here at all. And yet to continue living?

    Come on people, wake up. Look deeper into the story. This is classic Robert A. Heinlein stuff, of ornery, disagreeable, petty, violent animals called humans that for all that has some incredible moments.

    Comment by Ho-Sheng Hsiao — December 17, 2010 @ 9:13 pm

    • Thanks Ho-Sheng, that is really interesting about it being based on Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs as I know nothing about that. Something to read more up on for sure.

      Still though, I don’t think it has anything to do with the quality of the show. Many shows are based on the Heroes Journey for example, but that alone is no indicator of quality.

      Comment by allthatiswrong — December 17, 2010 @ 9:46 pm

  9. I wonder whether there will be a resolution to the series, or whether it will terminate mid-mission.

    Comment by PacRim Jim — December 18, 2010 @ 1:39 am

  10. Once again the SiFi channel has their head up their ass. It takes a while to develop a series. Too many of you “game oriented” morons who spend their days in front of a terminal wishing their miserable lives had more to offer. Xbox Dipshits! Screw you SiFi, ghost stories are for the simple minded!

    Comment by J.L.Lee — December 18, 2010 @ 5:14 am

    • America is a nation of idiots without any redeeming qualities. I’m 68 years old and marvel at a generation who can’t sit and talk without having to push buttons on some ridiculous device to make contact with another person. Does your mother still dress you?

      The SiFi chan has become chewing gum for the eyes. SiFi my ass it’s polluted with simple minded pap to feed the American public’s lack of imagination. You vote for major asshole like GW who is directly responsible for the deaths of millions of innocents. He’s an asshole whose best outcome would be a sudden case of good old fashioned western lead poisoning.


      Comment by J.L.Lee — December 18, 2010 @ 5:21 am

      • Wow.

        I always get annoyed at people who are ignorant about the US to the point of dismissing a country of over 300 million people.

        The US has problems and makes a lot of crap TV and movies, but so does every nation. I guarentee whatever country you are from has equivalent crap.

        America has a bigger population so that have more crap proportionally, but this does not negate all the quality stuff they produce as well.

        As for your comment on SGU….yes it takes a while to develop a series, but SGU has been stale for almost 2 seasons and there was no indication it was improving.

        Comment by allthatiswrong — December 18, 2010 @ 1:08 pm

  11. SGU was slow moving dramatic piece much different from its predecessors. Not a bad thing, but the premise got stuck in a corner with no where to go.

    While I could go on for paragraphs about the problem with this premise, and its total lack of humor, the basic issue I found was why was the Destiny so important? Why did the Lucent Alliance want it so badly? Did anyone ask the survivors?

    What about the local alien folk? What was their interest? What was Dr. Rush’s motivation? Why so secretive? Let’s have a mutiny to while away the time…. Oh god, no water, no air, no food…

    Too many unexplained questions!

    Comment by marcusg — December 28, 2010 @ 9:50 am

    • because it’s a soap opera and that’s what women and black inmates are into.

      Comment by qt — May 4, 2011 @ 11:03 am

  12. Before Universe, my wife would never watch Stargate with me. She was actually interested in Universe, so they were doing something right..

    Comment by Sean — December 29, 2010 @ 1:14 pm

  13. Most of you must of liked Battlestar Galactica (the new one).
    It makes me want to gag. Sex, drinking and shoot em up every 30 seconds. Just crass. I’ve watched now the 1st season of SGU and thought it was great. It could be better but its not even close to as bad as BSG.

    Comment by John — March 6, 2011 @ 7:48 pm

  14. Most of you must of liked Battlestar Galactica (the new one).
    It makes me want to gag. Sex, drinking and shoot em up every 30 seconds. Just crass. I’ve watched now the 1st season of SGU and thought it was great. It could be better but its not even close to as bad as BSG.

    Didn’t like Battlestar Galactica 2, and I don’t like SGU either.

    What gets into the head of TV Producers for them to Fundamentally Change a Family friendly name brand into something painful to watch and difficult to explain to your kids?

    Good bye, good riddance.

    Comment by Paul Obembe — March 13, 2011 @ 6:45 pm

  15. You folks seem to be missing the fact that entertainment works on several levels. I love SGU because it isnt a fluffy by the numbers gate, kick the badguys and be home in time for supper show.

    I also loved SGU, I liked Atlantis but SGU is a whole different ballgame.

    You have to invest, you have to follow the story you need to engage. I for one need to be engaged by shows as much as be entertained.

    Stupid deceision to kill the show, they will probably replace it with another generic vampire show.

    Comment by Andy B — March 24, 2011 @ 9:18 am

  16. I just watched the first season and yea the show has issues with risk taking but its an entertaining show. Its not BSG but that is one of the best sci-fi shows of all time. Take it for what it is and enjoy it. I’m sad to see it go.

    Comment by Sam — April 11, 2011 @ 1:51 am

    • It had a poor premise and an emphasis on soap opera type drama. It won’t be missed.

      Comment by allthatiswrong — April 11, 2011 @ 7:16 pm

  17. sgu is to hard to follow for somebody picking it up mid season and it is a sci fi soap opera that has hijacked the great stargate name…the sense of adventure is gone and the way the other gate shows tingled my mind with ideas is just not there…plus the story telling is flawed…they travel back in time and form a new society on novus where they have two thousand years yet generations into it they are living like pilgrims?? they are shooting videos of birth with candle light? get some ferrous material together and make a generator…just a rant sorry. but the story sucks and they lost sight of what stargate was ..going back to the original movie

    Comment by qt — May 4, 2011 @ 10:59 am

  18. yaaa, now we can have more ghost hunters!

    Comment by mcjj — May 10, 2011 @ 12:20 am

  19. The show needed better writing and planning. Whoever was responsible for the destiny’s crew as ancestors plot of the last couple of episodes should have taken themes and ideas from that and put it in the whole series from the start but not revealed who the ancestors were until towards the end. That would have been cool.

    Comment by Jac — May 11, 2011 @ 3:02 pm

  20. I loved this show compared with all the mindless action and over simplified plots on TV. Mostly, I’m sick of shows being cut short in seasons like Heroes and Lost which yes, they may have sucked, but let the show play out even if it isn’t making ‘as’ much money as you’d like. I’m sure it isn’t bankrupting and may even pull itself out if you give writers the data they need to make improvements.

    Instead of pulling this show, make the effort to save it and make the changes people are looking for. Brighten up the ship, invent some interesting technologies, and get some enemies who can start a dialog. Easy fixes that the next galaxy could offer.

    Comment by James — May 14, 2011 @ 12:20 pm

  21. Most of you are jabroni’s. Sci Fi Took a chance and they buckled under the doofus pressure of showing wrestling, sasquatchers, and ghost hunters. SGU was an innovative departure from the previous stories surrounding MacGyver and friends. The series was just ahead of its time. Yes, the music videos could be annoying but at least it took a stab at how difficult and deadly space can be. The story moves slowly? Screw you. Cosmo/Astronaut/Space folk move slowly too. Not just because their suits are packed with 50 pounds of tubes and insulation but because moving too quickly can pretty much kill you and everyone in your crew. The series was keeping it real which I guess is something y’all can’t handle.

    Comment by suck my stargate — November 30, 2013 @ 6:01 pm

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