Variety's review of "Stargate Universe", and the snippet of it below are based on viewings of three episodes, not just this Friday's pilot:
Still, it takes a galaxy to raise a sci-fi show, and to fill the macho roles are Louis Ferreira as Col. Everett Young and Lou Diamond Phillips as Col. Telford. Ming-Na, as the putative highest-ranking member aboard the ship, is wasted in the first three hours; Blue is the only source of humor, and Brian J. Smith as Lt. Matthew Scott seems designed almost solely as fan fiction fodder.
It all makes for an intriguing setup that doesn't quite gel, even by the end of the third episode. Sure, "SGU" is grittier, darker and psychologically deeper than previous versions. But so far, it's also a lot less fun.
I will of course check it out anyway, but it's the one thing I have been wondering about. One of the reasons I enjoyed the prior incarnations of Stargate is because they were fun.