There are many good things about this series. It's character interactions are great, there is a mountain of gorgeous imagery and CG that not only counts as Scenery Porn
but is downright amazing for this series' budget. The enemies are new, interesting and engaging, and getting to find out more about not only the technology of the Ancients, but their history, culture and their individual personalities makes for brilliant viewing. Some of the storylines are so well written and acted that you can't help but applaud the show, and by the end of season 5, Atlantis has become a character in itself, and you become just as concerned about its problems and destruction as that of the main characters.
So, after all this glowing praise, why am I going to say that this series doesn't measure up to its Stargate predecessor, SG1?
It really comes down to two things: the stupidity of some character actions and plots that either falls into Poor Communication Kills
or has you screaming at the TV wondering how the hell the writers could completely ignore the obvious and simple solution to their convoluted plot; and the Moral Dissonance
The first is something you can get over - although the sheer stupidity of the series finale still has me face palming - and is in general just a series of unconnected idiot sink-wells in the usually smooth writing. The second, however, is a real problem, and I'm not the person who wrote that Moral Dissonance
entry on the main page. The heroes maintaining a high moral ground while doing things that are morally ambiguous and occasionally sickening is nothing to laugh about, and their disregard for non-human life is shockingly callous, placing human life so far above any other sentient entity or alien that it's a disgusting display of unintentional Fantastic Racism
. The habit of not even acknowledging the ethical implications, ignoring them or just being straight-up hypocrites gets old real fast.
However, these problems are not always present. This is, on average, a good series. Some of the episodes are so good that they are worth sitting through the moments when you feel like kicking the writer in some sensitive anatomy. I've friends who have even higher praise and find these problems easy to brush off altogether!
If you like Stargate and epic Space Opera
Sci-Fi, I do in fact have to recommend this series.