Somebody should write a history of reviewing -- as in book reviews, movie reviews, music reviews, and so on. Who died and made these people King?
I think of it as a 19th-century thing, but somebody correct me if I'm wrong. That's when you get art produced on an industrial scale -- big operas, mass-circulation books and so on -- and an audience largely composed of culturally insecure and thrifty bourgeois unwilling to trust their own judgement or waste money on inferior product. So a corresponding quality-control function arises; it's much the same as meat inspectors in a slaughterhouse, stamping one dismembered haunch 'prime' and the next merely 'choice'.