Well, its not is it? You don't "Need" third party validation of your taste or choice.Well that's just flat out wrong.
I enjoy listening to people who are more knowledgeable than I am about a topic discussing it. Whether it's a movie, music, the written word or TV, a well informed critic brings an interesting point of view and an entertaining - in the broadest sense of the word - way of imparting that point of view. I'm not looking for validation of my taste, and I am quite prepared to enjoy a good positive review of something that is not to my taste.
And if you "suffered through" Jane Austen, you're probably not qualified to pontificate on writing.
I have watched films that have had rave reviews and been less than entertained. Conversely I have DVDs in my collection that I have watched over and over and the critics thought them rubbish. Personal taste. Some critics seem to get too wrapped up in the whole "Film Making" thing, and forget the maxim of a good story well told.
There are lots of books that the system call "Classics" that have bored me witless. I am quite capable of reading any book, or watching a film, and making my own mind up as to weather its a classic or not.
The same goes for music, tell me the genre, i will give it a listen if it interests me, then I will decide if I like it or not. Its not rocket science.