Sometimes you have to read the credits. Netflix begins streaming “American Factory,” a documentary directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, but probably better known for its producers, former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle.
“American” follows the culture clash that occurs when an Ohio factory formerly run by General Motors is reopened by a Chinese manufacturer. The film shows the great expectations that greeted the plant’s reopening and details the state subsidies that helped the deal come together. It also portrays American workers as they adjust to the expectations of their foreign managers.
This film was made before the current trade war with China began to dominate economic news, so it arrives at an interesting time.
The theme of American employees adjusting to an Asian work ethic is hardly new. Way back in 1986, Ron Howard directed the comedy “Gung Ho,” set in a Japanese-owned car factory. The film starred Michael Keaton and was shot on location in Pittsburgh.
The notion of a former president as film producer is hardly novel. Presidential candidate and former Vice President Al Gore wrote and appeared in “An Inconvenient Truth,” a 2006 documentary about the environment that won two Oscars.
Like many in politics, the current president has criticized Hollywood and the entertainment industry. But the present administration has been enmeshed in show business like no other.
The president is a former television star, host and producer. Not to mention an enthusiastic watcher of cable news.
Before becoming treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin was a film producer and has executive producer credits on many well-known films, from “The Lego Movie” to “Wonder Woman.”
Former White House strategist Steve Bannon was also a film producer, dating back to the 1991 commercial film “The Indian Runner.” His polemical documentaries included “The Undefeated,” featuring Sarah Palin, and “Torchbearer,” starring Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” fame.
• Hulu imports the U.K. comedy “This Way Up,” starring Irish actresses Aisling Bea and Sharon Horgan. Dubbed a “sadcom” by the British newspaper The Telegraph, it chronicles an older sister’s (Horgan) attempts to navigate life and romance while looking out for her mentally unstable sibling.
• A&E doubles down on superstition, with a “new” take on “Ghost Hunters” (8 p.m., TV-PG). The new crew introduces itself and its “professional” approach before investigating a haunted school (9 p.m.). “Psychic Kids” (10 p.m., TV-PG) follows.
Tonight’s other highlights
• Seven acts move forward on a live “America’s Got Talent” (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
• The top eight meet new competitors on “MasterChef” (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
• Writers pitch ideas to Old Dominion on “Songland” (9 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
• Tori focuses as the reboot flounders on “BH90210” (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
• Harvey goes out of his way to help Samantha on “Suits” (9 p.m., USA, TV-14).
• The Duttons prepare for all-out war with the Becks on “Yellowstone” (10 p.m., Paramount, TV-MA).
• Bobby’s campaign gains more financial support on “Pearson” (10 p.m., USA, TV-14).
• Andre needs Franklin’s help on “Snowfall” (10 p.m., FX, TV-MA).
• A teen (Kirsten Dunst) struggles to adjust to her husband’s Versailles court in director Sofia Coppola’s opulent music-video-influenced 2006 take on “Marie Antoinette” (7:30 p.m., Showcase). History elevated, or reduced, to the level of a fashion spread in Vogue.
Julie Chen Moonves hosts “Big Brother” (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... Beverly beams as she prepares for Barry’s wedding on “The Goldbergs” (8 p.m., ABC, R, TV-PG) ... A reassignment irks the guys on “Bulletproof” (8 p.m., CW, TV-14) ... Lainey takes a new job on “Schooled” (8:30 p.m., ABC, R, TV-PG).
Bravo Team seeks vengeance on “SEAL Team” (9 p.m., CBS, R, TV-14) ... Stumbling upon an endangered species on “Modern Family” (9 p.m., ABC, R, TV-PG) ... Taye Diggs hosts “Hypnotize Me” (9 p.m., CW, TV-PG) ... Will requires an intervention on “Single Parents” (9:30 p.m., ABC, R, TV-PG).
Home invaders target swanky pads on “S.W.A.T.” (10 p.m., CBS, R, TV-14) ... Jane Lynch hosts “Hollywood Game Night” (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14) ... “Celebrity Family Feud” (10 p.m., ABC, R, TV-PG).
“The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” (11 p.m., Comedy Central) presents the best of Jaboukie Young-White ... Tom Segura, Bert Kreischer and Nikki Glaser appear on “Lights Out With David Spade” (11:30 p.m., Comedy Central) ... John Oliver and Joe Namath appear on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” (11:35 p.m., CBS, R) ... Jimmy Fallon welcomes Selena Gomez, Elaine Welteroth and Goldlink featuring Maleek Berry on “The Tonight Show” (11:35 p.m., NBC, R) ... Ian McKellen, Louis Tomlinson and Simon Pegg appear on “The Late Late Show With James Corden” (12:35 a.m., CBS, R).