To me, seasons seven and eight felt like the television equivilant of New Coke; someone, somewhere thought it was a great idea, but it sucked on so many levels. With Anderson less and less interested in the show and the terrible shippy scenes TPTB set up between Jack and Sam, the storylines became increasing trite and ship-driven. There was little chemistry between Amanda Tapping and Richard Dean Anderson, and Anderson looked increasingly bored.
Which is why I LOVED Avalon. Anderson's character Jack O'Neill is gone, replaced by Ben Browder as Cameron Mitchell. Tapping is on maternity leave, replaced by Claudia Black as Vala Mal Doran.
And so TPTB realise that New Coke sucks, and brought back Classic Coke. The chemistry between Vala, Daniel, Cameron and Teal'c remind me of the early days of SG1, and runs circles around the tired, trite, try-hard chemistry between Jack and Sam. So far, Teal'c seems to have something to do, and watching Daniel and Vala spar is invigorating after two years of sappy, trite dialogue between Jack and Sam.
I really enjoyed Avalon, and the way they're introducing the origins of Celtic mythology into the series. (Incidentally, the Nox Anteaus was named after a Greek God; was that meant to be another connection to ancient culture?). While they didn't actually go offworld, there was enough alien technology and intrigue that it didn't matter.
In one episode, SG1 has intrigued me more then most of the last two years did. I hope to see more of the same.