I really liked SG-1 and Atlantis, too. The funny thing is, I snubbed SG-1 for years because it seemed like low-budget crap for its first few seasons. I think it was season 4 that I finally got into it.
I also thought the premise was a bit odd. I mean, millions of people worshiping someone posing as a divine being and turning hostile the moment you speak against their belief? Where do they come up with this stuff!
Atlantis was much better show, imho. Less budget problems, a fresh setting, a more regular cast (looking at you, Michael Shanks) and Canadian know-how. :P
Yes, around season four they started to hit their stride, and during this last time through, I was paying attention trying to determine the point where it starts to take off. It's more like a transition. I could never name a particular episode. It's just a crew finding their way.
And odd it is for sure. You've got aliens with advanced technology like space ships and advanced weapons (but no aiming devices), and most of the time, they are living in tents and wearing animals skins and burlap with iron breast plates. Huh? I think what makes these incongruities tolerable is that the writing and the cast don't make any pretense at taking the whole thing seriously. Some of the romantic interludes are loaded with sap to the point where I'll roll my eyes, and some of the episodes that are devoted to humor almost border on slapstick. But through it all, it's still an engaging series that has a serious side to it in spite of all the "Aw, come on now" liberties it takes.
SG1 ran for 10 years, and while it was on, I never watched it. I missed SG Atlantis, too. I think I knew about them, but never bothered watching. Atlantis has more polish and higher production values. The Wraith that feed on humans are bit over the top for aliens, but the writers create interesting scenarios with them and thereby do a good job of salvaging something that tests the limits of believability.