What’s on TV Wednesday: ‘Parasite’ and ‘Modern Family’

What’s on TV Wednesday: ‘Parasite’ and ‘Modern Family’


PARASITE (2019) Stream on Hulu; rent on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and YouTube. The South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho won an armful of Oscars for “Parasite,” a comedic thriller that this year became the first film not in English to earn the Academy Award for best picture. The movie takes aim at social stratification: Set in South Korea, it centers on a poor family whose members begin working for a wealthy one. Their story, first comic, then shocking, involves tutoring, deception and pizza. In her review for The New York Times, Manohla Dargis called the film “brilliant and deeply unsettling.” She wrote that Bong “creates specific spaces and faces — outer seamlessly meets inner here — that are in service to universal ideas about human dignity, class, life itself.”

THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER (2017) Stream on Netflix; rent on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and YouTube. For another whirligig story in which a well-off family’s life is upended, see this stylized thriller from the Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos. Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell star as married doctors whose world is rattled by a young man named Martin (Barry Keoghan), who seeks revenge for an incident that happened years before. Lanthimos “is less interested in moral shock therapy or social criticism than in aesthetic estrangement,” A.O. Scott wrote in his review for The Times. “‘Sacred Deer’ feels like a dark, opaque bit of folklore transplanted into an off-kilter modern setting.”

ONWARD (2020) Stream on Disney Plus; rent on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and YouTube. Two elves trade the quiet, suburban life for an epic quest in “Onward,” the latest offering from Pixar. Those elves — Ian (voiced by Tom Holland) and Barley (Chris Pratt) — are brothers living in a post-fantasy world, where magic has been largely supplanted by technology. When their mother (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) gives them an enchanted staff that has the power to bring their dead father back to life (for a limited time only), the pair jump at the opportunity. The spell only half-works: They manage to summon their dad, but only from the hips down. Bringing back his upper half will require them to trek through their land of pixies and other mythical creatures in search of more magic. “Ian and Barley’s journey plays as disappointingly routine, a checklist of mechanically foreshadowed heart-to-hearts and lessons learned, leavened by the occasional offbeat sight gag,” Ben Kenigsberg wrote in his review for The Times. Still, Kenigsberg wrote, the filmmakers “have clearly had fun imagining a milieu with belligerent biker sprites and cops who are centaurs or Cyclopes.”

MODERN FAMILY 9 p.m. on ABC. After 11 seasons, Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan’s three-family sitcom will come to a close, with an hourlong series finale. Before that, at 8 p.m., ABC will air “A Modern Farewell,” a documentary about the show’s behind-the-scenes life. The fact that the show is itself a mockumentary should make that documentary feel quite meta.



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