SUNDAY

Survivor: All-Stars
It's a shame that Outback winner Tina Wesson had to be voted off, or for that matter, any of those poor, nearly dehydrated bastards. The game is great and all, but the real kick of watching this all-star edition is seeing these already established personalities interact with each other. Ya got Rudy and Rupert forming an alliance; Lex working side-by-side with Colby (Schick's not-so-clean-shaven spokesman); Jerri hanging out with Jenna L.; and even Rob M. mildly flirting with Amber, later noting how "beautiful" she is. (Oh, and they won't milk this possible story line for all it's worth?)

It seems like each successive Survivor edition gets harder and harder. No shelter. No food. No drinkable water. What's next? Maybe they all get splashed with fresh blood and then Jeff Probst will say, "OK, we've just released a dozen ravenous lions into the jungle... Survivors, go!" But seriously, watching the intense physical exertion each contestant went through during the immunity challenge — without proper hydration — made me think this version should have been called Survivor: Let's See Who Passes Out First.

Super Bowl XXXVIII
Please forgive my blatant New England bias, but... Woo-hoo! Yeah! Way to go, Pats! [Clearing throat sound] All right, I'm done. You know, I came in worried that the Patriots would botch this, as well as thinking that the Panthers were the Florida Marlins of the NFL, but I was more than impressed by the level of play. It miraculously lived up to the hype. And now for a few random and/or noteworthy moments:

  • In the preproduced intros, Carolina's Ricky Manning Jr. pulled on his T-shirt as if to say, "Hey, look at my bad-ass self!"
  • On the first play, everyone was so hyped up, several players had to be separated.
  • When Patriot Adam Vinatieri unbelievably missed a 31-yard field goal, every jaw in Massachusetts hit the floor, including those of football savvy dogs, cats and a few ferrets.
  • About eight minutes before halftime, we are treated to a shot of particularly sour-looking Carolina owner Jerry Richardson. (We get one more of these at the end of the game. Sorry, man.)
  • Later in the game, after several offside penalties, CBS announcer Greg Gumbel says, "[Carolina's] Kris Jenkins has spent almost as much time on the other side of the line before the snap as he has after the snap.
  • Phil Simms calls New England's Richard Seymour a "difference maker." Well put, Phil.
  • And, finally, that direct snap to Kevin Faulk was the sweetest play I've seen in a long, long time.

    Halftime
    Right now, P. Diddy, Kid Rock and Nelly must be thinking, "Great, no one's going to remember I was even there." And that's thanks to Justin Timberlake tearing away a piece of Janet Jackson's bustier, exposing her right breast. And continuing the nudity theme, the halftime streaker elicited this comment from Gumbel, "We've had an omen that the second half's gonna be a lot of raw, naked football." And he was right.

    Commercials

  • Chevrolet's "Holy sh--, soap eating kids" made me spit out a small piece of the tortilla chip I was eating.
  • Homer Simpson getting aggravated with the MasterCard voice-over guy was indeed "priceless."
  • Bud Light went highbrow with a dog biting a guy's crotch, a gaseous horse and Cedric the Entertainer mistakenly getting a bikini wax.
  • IBM's Linux spot with Muhammad Ali saying to "Shake up the world" was the coolest ad of the bunch and it wasn't even trying to be funny.
  • It's nice to know that the American Chopper gang stopped bickering long enough to make those clever ads for AOL Top Speed. Mikey doing Evel Knievel was hilarious.

    SATURDAY

    Super Bowl's Greatest Commercials
    One of the classics was a 1973 Noxzema spot featuring Joe Namath and a beautiful woman slathering shaving cream all over his face. As opposed to the last time we saw Joe — making a pass at ESPN's Suzy Kolber — it appeared the woman in this case wasn't totally uncomfortable standing next him.

    FRIDAY

    Ed
    It was screwed-up sibling day for Ed and Carol. It's hard to say who had a more tragic situation to deal with, though — was it Ed trying to keep his loser brother Lloyd out of prison or Carol encountering a naked Warren in the shower who thought he was barging in on her sister Stella? Stella! (Sorry, I had to.) And, hey, weird Shirley finally got some action, too! Unfortunately, it was from equally weird Tobey!

    So, according to the promo at the end of the show, next week is the "final episode of Ed." Whether that's a done deal remains to be seen, but if it is the last one... well, that will just plain suck.

    20/20
    Barbara Walters' segment about her View cohost Meredith Vieira and husband Richard Cohen, who has just written a book about living with multiple sclerosis and battling cancer, made me rather ill. (Full disclosure time: My mother has had MS for many years so I'm fairly familiar with the disease.) One of the main threads of the story was how MS was prevalent in Cohen's family. Walters asked him, "Is it hereditary?" to which he answered, "For years, conventional wisdom said no. Now I come from a family where I'm the third generation that has MS, so I find it a little difficult... to say no." (Yet, this is extreme from what I've read.)

    Later, Vieira said when they decided to have children, they went for genetic counseling and were told that the disease was not hereditary. Nevertheless, except for these minor statements, this "MS as an inherited disease" angle appeared to be the overwhelming theme. Cohen's ailing father was interviewed and Vieira expressed concern about what might happen to her kids, for instance. But there wasn't a brief sound bite from a medical expert or any other clarification to be found in the narration. What the hell? The National MS Society Web site says, "While genes are important determinants of a person's risk for MS, they are not the only factor... MS is not directly inherited and factors other than genetics must be involved." I'm willing to bet that the average viewer came away from this installment of 20/20 thinking that MS, for the most part, is typically passed on to one's children. I was impressed with Cohen's enduring spirit, but not the way this segment was handled.