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‘WandaVision’ caps off Marvel’s version of a love story in an emotional finale

‘WandaVision’ caps off Marvel’s version of a love story in an emotional finale

If “The Mandalorian” is the “Star Wars” version of a western, “WandaVision” was, finally, Marvel’s take on a love story. Yet in keeping with the company’s interconnected universe, the finale of the Disney+ show also planted seeds that will bear fruit in future movies, cementing the streaming service’s ability to effectively add to those building blocks.

Having started out with cryptic episodes emulating old black-and-white sitcoms, “WandaVision” took chances and creative risks that aren’t always feasible with one of its blockbuster brethren.

In addition, the show ultimately became a pretty profound rumination on love and grief, in the process turning its central character, Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), to if not quite the villain of the story an accomplice — certainly in the eyes of the people who became props in the elaborate world that she created to experience the life she had lost hope of achieving with Vision (Paul Bettany).

As it happened, there was a puppet master associated with that, Agatha Harkness (Kathryn Hahn), whose goal was to first understand Wanda’s extraordinary power, then siphon it away from her. Yet as Agatha noted, “Heroes don’t torture people,” and the inherent selfishness of Wanda’s actions gave the entire run of the series a sense of moral ambiguity that only heightened its intrigue.

Of course, “WandaVision” wasn’t all pain and loss, incorporating a host of pop-culture and comic-book references, from the Halloween versions of their costumes to Wanda’s “brother” popping up in previous episodes to a very clever “The Wizard of Oz” homage in the finale.

Still, the series seldom veered far from its bittersweet qualities, with Wanda conceding to Vision that she would set things right, just “not for us.” Even that sacrifice couldn’t fix how she looked to the ordinary citizens swept into her fantasy.

The final scenes underscored what a terrific showcase this has been for the stars, Olsen and Bettany, allowing for a depth — including its detour into the Scarlet Witch’s origins — that the demands of a CGI-heavy blockbuster generally lack the time to explore as robustly. That bodes well, frankly, for enlisting other actors to sign up for these episodic offshoots.

Marvel being Marvel, the story naturally didn’t end there, with a pair of Easter eggs giving fans more to anticipate, though some patience will be required.

“I don’t understand this power, but I will,” Wanda said, after an earlier reference to the Sorcerer Supreme that points toward her appearance in the upcoming “Doctor Strange” sequel. And as has been reported, fans can watch the skies for the return of Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau in “Captain Marvel 2” after her close encounter.

Perhaps inevitably, the conclusion wasn’t quite equal to the build-up, but director Matt Shakman and writer Jac Schaeffer nevertheless delivered a formidable accomplishment overall, successfully launching Marvel into the streaming space in a way that showcases the vast array of possibilities that offers.

As she said goodbye, Wanda explained to Vision that he was “a memory made real.” Given Disney’s grand plans for streaming and Marvel’s role in them, the memories made by “WandaVision” should linger for a good long time.

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‘The Talk’ returns with Sheryl Underwood remarks and an episode on race

“The Talk” returned Monday by jumping right into a conversation about race.

It was the first new episode since cohost Sharon Osbourne left the CBS daytime talk show in the wake of a heated discussion she had with fellow cohost Sheryl Underwood over Osbourne’s support of her friend, Piers Morgan.

Underwood questioned that support after Morgan’s negative comments following Prince Harry and Meghan’s interview with media mogul Oprah Winfrey were criticized as being rooted in racism.

Underwood opened Monday’s episode by explaining that it was the panel’s first time in studio since the incident with Osbourne and her exit from the show.

“We need to process the events of that day and what’s happened since so we can get to the healing,” Underwood said. “Over the next hour we will honestly discuss what occurred and explore some of our feelings. And we’ll also show you how anyone can become more comfortable with discussing important issues and having difficult conversations.”

The show ended up going on a brief hiatus after the debate and allegations surfaced via an article by journalist Yashar Ali that Osbourne used racist and homophobic language while speaking about her former colleagues on the CBS talk show.

Ali cited former “Talk” co-host Leah Remini, who spoke on the record in the piece, as well as a number of unnamed sources.

CNN has not independently verified the claims. A spokesperson for Remini confirmed the accuracy of her statements as reported by Ali and declined further comment when contacted by CNN.

Osbourne tweeted an apology for the blowup with Underwood and denied that allegations raised in Ali’s reporting in a statement from her spokesperson, Howard Bragman.

“The only thing worse than a disgruntled former employee is a disgruntled former talk show host,” he said in a statement to CNN. “For 11 years Sharon has been kind, collegial and friendly with her hosts as evidenced by throwing them parties, inviting them to her home in the UK and other gestures of kindness too many to name. Sharon is disappointed but unfazed and hardly surprised by the lies, the recasting of history and the bitterness coming out at this moment.”

Osbourne was the only remaining original cast member of “The Talk,” which debuted in 2010.

During Monday’s episode, Underwood and her fellow cohosts Carrie Ann Inaba, Amanda Kloots and Elaine Welteroth welcomed expert on diversity, equity, inclusion and justice Dr. Donald E. Grant to offer advice on discussing issues of race and nationally acclaimed trauma therapist and life coach Dr. Anita Phillips, who shared expertise on how to heal after a painful event or conversation.

‘MacGyver’ fans campaign to save show

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It looks like “MacGyver” will not be returning for a sixth season — and some viewers are not happy about that. A petition has been launched in an attempt to get the series (which is either a reboot or a spinoff of the 1980s original based on who you ask) renewed by CBS. “MacGyver is…Continue Reading

Will Smith and Antoine Fuqua pull ‘Emancipation’ production from Georgia

Will Smith and Antoine Fuqua pull ‘Emancipation’ production from Georgia

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Bad Bunny announces 2022 tour

Bad Bunny announces 2022 tour

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‘Shameless’ series finale after party hit a snag

‘Shameless’ series finale after party hit a snag

No spoilers here, but people were sad about Sunday’s “Shameless” series finale. And it wasn’t just because of what happened on the final episode of the hit Showtime series about a dysfunctional family headed by single dad Frank Gallagher (played by William H. Macy) or that the show was wrapping up after 11 seasons. What…Continue Reading

Chet Hanks releases risqué ‘White Boy Summer’ teaser video

Chet Hanks releases risqué ‘White Boy Summer’ teaser video

If there’s one thing Chet Hanks has mastered, it’s the art of causing a stir. Weeks after courting controversy with his new “White Boy Summer” clothing brand, the son of Hollywood actor Tom Hanks has teased the first look at his accompanying raunchy new music video. On Sunday, the 30-year-old treated his 483,000 Instagram followers…Continue Reading

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