For 67 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 52% higher than the average critic
  • 0% same as the average critic
  • 48% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Steve Johnson's Scores

  • TV
Average review score: 67
Highest review score: 100 The Larry Sanders Show: Season 4
Lowest review score: 10 Everwood: Season 1
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 67
  2. Negative: 11 out of 67
67 tv reviews
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Johnson
    In addition to being riotously and savagely funny, propelled by more great characters than the average night of network programming, it gets you thinking about what's hiding behind those curtains that Johnny walked through on so many nights. [19 Jul 1995]
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Johnson
    Perfectly seasoned, unassailably adult, brooding, base and piercingly funny, it is as good as everybody says it is, perhaps even better. While plot descriptions and joke recitation can suggest the intelligence and wicked wit of this portrait of life backstage at a "Tonight"-style TV talk show, only seeing it can convey how vivid and penetrating it is. [15 Mar 1998]
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Johnson
    It plays as fresh and funny as anything on TV. [5 Jan 2000]
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Johnson
    "The Sopranos," with 13 hours a year to work with instead of a feature film's 2 1/2, tops, has the time to show the way human communication really works: Matters of the greatest consequence stem from misunderstandings and misinterpretations. It insinuates viewers so thoroughly and convincingly into the soul of a man like Tony Soprano that the result becomes universal. [14 Jan 2000]
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Johnson
    Continues to test traditional notions of television heroism, upend conventional storytelling rhythms and deliver its thematic points and comic payoffs with a revolutionary subtlety. [4 Mar 2001]
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Johnson
    "The Office" is everything television comedy can and ought to be but almost never is. ... The result is subtle, searing and laugh-bitterly-out-loud funny, like a series of the darkest Dilbert strips strung together and given human dimension and narrative shape. [30 Jan 2003]
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Johnson
    The laughs are still there ... But the show begins to take on ominous overtones, a kind of small-scale tragedy in the making as it plots the apparent path of a little dictator's downfall. [10 Oct 2003]
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Johnson
    Spellbinding...The Wire is compelling in its complexity, heart-rending in its humanity, and surprising in the ways it finds to spin the conventions of cop drama. [31 May 2002, p.4]
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Johnson
    The best show on television. That's right. It's better, even, than that other HBO series, the one about the nice New Jersey family, because for all of David Chase's brilliance with character in "The Sopranos," he can sometimes wander down thematic dead ends in search of a great dramatic discovery. Simon, with his careful plotting, police-investigation structure and sure sense of what he is trying to say, gives "The Wire" a sense of propulsion, of every moment building to something.
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Johnson
    Instead of trying to run on the fumes of style and attitude, a la "Twin Peaks," Murder One, at least in its premiere, has high octane in its tank. Boasting a tough, savvy script and the cast to handle it, the episode moves at a relentless pace from the discovery of the murder to Cross being charged with it. Along the way it establishes--or at least whets the viewer's appetite for more of--an intriguing assemblage of themes and characters. [19 Sept 1995, p.1C]
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Steve Johnson
    Haunting and riveting. [25 Oct 1996]
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Steve Johnson
    The performances are generally strong, but the devilishly clever, culturally hyper-attuned dialogue (by executive producer Josh Whedon, who wrote the original and worked on "Speed" and "Toy Story") is what makes this stand out. [10 Mar 1997, p.C8]
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Steve Johnson
    Angel turns out to be as nimble, in its own way, as "Buffy" itself, and Boreanaz a revelation. It helps matters that Whedon has said his primary focus this year will be on the progeny, not the parent. [4 Oct 1999, p.1]
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Steve Johnson
    "Curb" is as funny, in its pulling-teeth-with-a-pliers kind of way, as anything on TV. [13 Sep 2002]
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Steve Johnson
    In the same way that "The Wire" showed there is an HBO way to update that staple of regular TV, the cop show, Deadwood demonstrates that the western can be revitalized, too, with a dose of extreme realism. [19 Mar 2004, p.C1]
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Steve Johnson
    A smart, stylish police procedural very much in the manner of "CSI" and "Without a Trace." [28 Sept 2003, p.C10]
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Steve Johnson
    This is compelling in both the broad strokes and the little details. The funny thing is, even at its most absurd, it feels almost realistic, because Hurwitz so precisely sketches his characters and their setting. [1 Nov 2003, p.27]
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Steve Johnson
    As played and imagined by the comic Sacha Baron Cohen, it's wickedly amusing stuff, whether he's asking Sam Donaldson about Nixon's "Waterworld" scandal, former Los Angeles police chief Daryl Gates about "The Simpsons," or Patrick Buchanan about the time he was president. [16 July 2004, p.C5]
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Steve Johnson
    Undeclared is practically note-perfect. [25 Sept 2001, p.C1]
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Steve Johnson
    Engaging, sometimes brutal. [12 July 1997]
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Steve Johnson
    A delightful program. [14 Sep 1997]
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Steve Johnson
    Pungent, sophisticated comedy. [14 Sep 1998]
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Steve Johnson
    Low key in concept, in style of humor and in star power, it's that rarity: a comedy that manages to be very, very funny without making parents watching with their children very, very uncomfortable. It's not necessarily a kids' show; it just gets its laughs honestly, without being crass. [13 Sep 1996]
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Steve Johnson
    As on "The Simpsons," there is never the feeling of a joke being settled on, but rather it is worked over (and over and over) until just right. And there is the sense of a masterful hand guiding things, making creative choices that are both surprising and right. [28 Mar 1999]
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Steve Johnson
    A stylish and innovative thriller that feels like the filmed version of the smartest airport novel you'll ever read. [6 Nov 2001]
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Steve Johnson
    "The Real World"--while voyeuristic, stagey and sometimes maddeningly encouraging of fledgling adults' tendencies to navel gaze--is also blistering good drama, TV's most entrancing and rewarding reality show. [28 Jun 1995]
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Steve Johnson
    Turns out to be an engaging new hour, boasting crisp writing, near-cinematic production values and an almost fail-safe plot. [14 June 2002, p.3]
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Steve Johnson
    It's all brought home with realism in the family relations and humor. [26 Sept 2003, p.C1]
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Steve Johnson
    When this show clicks in its first three episodes, it's because it violates a bigger rule, the one that says every New York firefighter, after the department's World Trade Center sacrifice, sports a halo and maybe a cape, and if he can carry a tune, he gets to sing at baseball games. [21 July 2004, p.C1]
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Steve Johnson
    [Creator Doug Ellin's] real victory here is in making the series not so much a movie-biz lampoon as an exploration of friendship under an extraordinary kind of strain. What makes it more potent is that the strain hides behind such a glossy veneer: hot chicks, ready cash and glamor, even for pudgy Queens guys. [16 July 2004, p.C1]