My MIL thinks it's really important and her responsibility to offer lots of criticism to her children on various things. It's such a huge downer. My dh got an arts fellowship for his poetry, and I don't think he ever told her about it. He did a reading at the public library for it and didn't invite her.
She then commented to me about how her first cousin and his wife cheer on their children. Their children are very high achievers by anyone's standards--good schools, nifty projects, good grades, exciting professional lives. She didn't learn any lesson from this, however--just commented on how she could never do that!
Criticism doesn't do anything good. Maybe praise isn't always the best thing, especially if it's indescriminate and inaccurate. But criticism is for sure a bad thing. No matter how loving a relationship you have, it's got to hurt. In fact, if your relationship is more loving, the criticism is going to hurt worse because they won't be able to dismiss it.
I think my plan is going to be to let my guy become an expert on whether he's good at whatever it is or not. After all, my husband knows a lot more about poetry than his parents.
Also--I'm not going to get a TV set so i don't have to watch the drek you describe here!