For the record, I love this series. I loved the original movie. I have loved the television series for seven years now (I started in about two seasons late and caught up via haabda's DVDs and downloads. It is perhaps the only show (besides Battlestar Gallactica that I would give up my Friday nights for, well, since friends were coming over to watch the show with me anyway.
For a long time it had the perfect combination of lovable, dynamic good guys, usage of mythology that make history buffs cringe but remain addicted, approachable technology, complicated and simple story arcs, internal and external turmoil, entertaining banter, and the strength not to take itself too seriously.
I have been told that the story was intentionally left open so that they could come out with direct-to-DVD movies to finish up the story arc. I would have preferred it if they had finished off the story in the series (the execution of this plot-line has disappointed me, but that's another issue altogether). But all-in-all, I really enjoyed the final episode because of the implication the SGC and SG1 never end. Heroes can't stay off the battlefield if their home is in danger. They keep going until they die or they're so old they can't move.
What bothers me is that I started liking Altantis more than original Stargate: SG1 during the last two seasons. Atlantis a little flat sometimes, but the dialogue and the actors' chemistry finally made it work. I wondered at first if the SciFi Channel was intentionally sabotaging the quality of SG1 so that they could ween us off the show and onto Atlantis. I noticed a significant dip in SG1's s quality of writing (both dialogue and plot lines) about four years ago. And then more recently, the last two seasons have all-but-completely sucked. It got boring and flat, lost its irreverent humor, and beat us over the head with uninteresting bad guys, which in turn made the SG1 team uninteresting good guys.
Seriously, about half of this last full season, I was literally falling asleep in my chair about every other episode. I accept that as our heroes kept become more and more badass, the writers had to keep throwing tougher and tougher stuff at them. But it's not the "Oh, no, we're the SCARIEST bad guys around" that bothered me — my complaints are entirely about execution.
Here is how most of the shows seemed to progress:
Discovery of problem, very very dry exposition, resistance/conflict, now REPEAT the same exposition to other characters in a very "Sally, Dick and Jane" dialogue, intended solution creates more problems, more exposition, sudden-unrelated-and-uninteresting fix, end show.
Here is some sample dialogue
Carter: The [bad guys] are going to attack.
Daniel: We have to stop [bad guys].
Vala: (cue disinterested, rogueish sex-appeal) Look at me! I'm the funny, irreverent one!
Landry: Shut up, Vala. Carter, you had better figure out something to stop the [bad guys].
Mitchell: I know I'm not really Jack, but can't we just blow the [bad guys] up?
Here's some sample dialogue with an Ori, prior, or henchman
Henchman: You will never defeat the Ori.
Carter: Yes, we will.
Henchman: But the Ori are all-powerful. Fear us!
Mitchell: We're the good guys. We always win.
Henchman: No, you won't!
Carter: Yes, we will.
It was hard to look forward to this every week. There were a couple of shows that were fun and entertaining. The story arc about the Ori sneaking in the Ori-sai (sp?) into this galaxy was intriguing and led to some sincere empathy from me about Vala and her husband. And there were a few episodes that had some of the original charm and humor. But there were so few good episodes among so many terrible ones that I am honestly glad it's over.
I will look back on the show fondly and probably get suckered into watching the made-for-tv movie follow-ups because I have invested so much time in the show not to finish it.