Steven Scaife

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For 36 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 16% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 82% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 11.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Steven Scaife's Scores

Average review score: 56
Highest review score: 88 Chernobyl
Lowest review score: 25 Hunters (2020): Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 36
  2. Negative: 12 out of 36
36 tv reviews
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Steven Scaife
    The series is gory and dour with a bone-deep cynicism, but it’s also optimistic in its own small way, an origin story that chronicles how its characters find a means to fight rather than serving as dejected, disgusted observers.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 25 Steven Scaife
    The series isn’t without moments of cleverness, but even the jokes that land mostly just emphasize how complacent the remainder of Crossing Swords is to coast on its crassness.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Steven Scaife
    Though the series certainly isn’t blind to Ruby and Billy’s rather pronounced sense of entitlement, the chaos piling up in their wake becomes far less endearing than it’s seemingly meant to be. Ruby and Billy’s actions make them harder and harder to root for, and Run becomes unable to sustain itself beyond the initial thrill of their reunion.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Steven Scaife
    The series never loses sight of its fraught interplay of race and class, but the initial intensity with which it explores those subjects dims as melodramatic coincidences and speeches accumulate.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Steven Scaife
    It’s at its best when the characters are hanging out, doing nothing, or struggling with feeling trapped or bottling up what they want to say to each other. It’s disappointing to see the first season wrap up with an apparent attempt to chase the shadow of Stranger Things, as its atmosphere and rich characters are what set this otherwise familiar story apart.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 25 Steven Scaife
    Hunters traffics in insipid dramatic cliché. The result is by-the-numbers drama that veers every so often into baffling pulp, as though the series is cobbled together from mismatched parts.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 38 Steven Scaife
    Whether it’s introducing farcical, overwritten solutions to things like navigating Dracula’s mazelike castle or miniature plot twists that are easy to guess, the series simply feels tiresome in its relentless pleading with us to be impressed.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Steven Scaife
    Work in Progress never loses sight of its premise, though it remains bleak without beating you over the head.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 88 Steven Scaife
    Employing warm cinematography, gentle narration, and its lightly absurd portrayal of everyday life, Joe Pera Talks with You digs at a larger existential truth about our own preoccupations and how they bring us comfort when we might need it most.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Steven Scaife
    With more questions than any particularly satisfying answers, but in similar fashion to shows like Twin Peaks, its control of tone and atmosphere soon becomes even more engrossing than the mystery itself.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 25 Steven Scaife
    The majority of Knight’s series is a self-serious dirge, where sight-based wordplay like “So they just walk around with their eyes closed?” is delivered with a straight face. In the end, See’s myriad absurdities somehow add up only to a run-of-the-mill dystopia, where the children are the “chosen ones” and the tyrant must be overthrown.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Steven Scaife
    Opting for more recognizable, overt King references hasn’t enriched the show’s storytelling so much as clarified the gap between the author’s best work and this TV imitation.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 63 Steven Scaife
    The series expands the comic in some fascinating ways, weaving a dense, bizarre mythology and a richly conceived world to get swept up in. The pilot episode in particular introduces various complicated ideas, drawing clear lines to fascism in the actions of the police and vigilantes. But the series misses some of the novel’s complexity in its eagerness for loaded imagery—lynchings, riots, police violence—and slowly-unfolding mysteries.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 38 Steven Scaife
    Living with Yourself ends before it ever really gets off the ground. Despite how much potential the series displays for psychological complexity, its approach is otherwise so uninspired that one wonders if it stumbled upon that potential by accident.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Steven Scaife
    The story of the caveman and T. rex’s survival, in Tartakovsky’s hands, is totally enthralling, as terrible as it is beautiful.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Steven Scaife
    Shudder’s Creepshow bottles the original’s pulpy spirit, using the atmosphere and variety provided by shorter segments for an irresistibly macabre package.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Steven Scaife
    Undone can be beautiful and inventive, but rather than directly confront such concerns, it mostly just kicks each can of worms a little further down the road, to perhaps be addressed in a future season while it continues to use the question of Alma’s sanity as a story hook.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Steven Scaife
    As conceived by Showtime’s On Becoming a God in Central Florida, this vision of 1992 America is a morass of hucksters and hollow promises, and the series explores that world with both a sharp eye and a peculiar sense of humor.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Steven Scaife
    The series is striking not only for its scope, but for how uncompromising it is.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 38 Steven Scaife
    Jettisoning the film’s narrow focus on social gatherings doesn’t free up the series so much as leave it unmoored, a muddled spiderweb of relationships that only occasionally manifests some moving development. ... But the most galling thing about this new Four Weddings and a Funeral is how downright unimaginative the rest of it is.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 63 Steven Scaife
    The Boys’s skewering of superheroism is often clever, but as the series progresses, the more hands-off approach of Butcher’s crew can leave them with little to do, to the point where the messy, circular plotting of the finale all but leaves them sitting on their hands.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 25 Steven Scaife
    The Loudest Voice is a liberal bedtime story; it doesn’t argue a point or even particularly inform so much as blandly recreate the heinous actions of a Republican bogeyman. In doing so, it merely pacifies, assuring us that the world functions exactly as we expected while leaving us safe and secure in the knowledge that the monsters are exactly where we always knew they were.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Steven Scaife
    Some scenes tend to devolve into a lot of bureaucratic jargon and off-the-cuff mentions of Boston locations that might lose anyone unfamiliar with the city. Where the series excels, however, is in the level of detail it brings to its individual characters. ... Such a confident grasp of character goes a long way toward smoothing over the show’s somewhat clumsier big-picture narrative, as City on a Hill proves itself as effective at small, interlocking details as it is at purely hammy thrills.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Steven Scaife
    The success of Euphoria’s teen drama ultimately depends on which teen it focuses on at any given moment. With Rue and Jules at the center, you feel the exhilaration of their friendship as much as a real concern for their growing troubles. But with its less fully developed characters, the series can feel like little more than a lurid performance of teenage pain.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 25 Steven Scaife
    The show’s concept has long revolved around how everything Luther has been through has left him haunted, but now, in the fifth season, it does little more for viewers than leave them numb.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 25 Steven Scaife
    NOS4A2 is utterly devoid of dread or menace, and its artistry fails to compensate for its otherwise complete lack of dramatic momentum.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 50 Steven Scaife
    When They See Us is a handsomely mounted dramatization of the plight of these boys, of what was taken away from them due to their being targets of systemic racism. ... As a piece of narrative storytelling, though, the series hits its thematic targets with such repetition at such close range that you begin to question the point of dragging this exercise to over four hours.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 88 Steven Scaife
    With the characters and their histories now mostly clear to the audience, the story moves along a somewhat less bold, more conventional path compared to last season, which constantly doubled back by recontextualizing and reexamining itself. Despite this more straightforward approach, though, the series still boasts Waller-Bridge’s unmistakable voice and her witty, resonant characterizations.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Steven Scaife
    With its twin focuses on humankind’s ability to solve problems and its capacity for negligent destruction, Chernobyl arrives at an austere sort of grace.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Steven Scaife
    The start of the second season eventually begins to spin its wheels, lingering a little too long on Villanelle’s weakness while providing various sounding boards for emotions that Oh is perfectly capable of conveying with no more than a furrowed brow.

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