To Struggle Street via Mount Keira Road and City Diggers

So here I am at the Mount Keira Road bus stop yesterday morning:


At City Diggers had a warming, nutritious lunch…


Accompanied as you can see by the Sydney Daily Telegraph, which has been having a bit of an Aunt Sally attack on SBS and the at that point unbroadcast show Struggle Street.


The gist of that entire page is that SBS execs and the film-makers own properties in the eastern suburbs and drink fancy wines, from glasses even! Oh Lordie! It failed to mention where Daily Telegraph execs or the geniuses who wrote this malicious puffery live, what they own, or what their favourite tipple may be.

Curiously the TV Guide in the very same Daily Telegraph gave Struggle Street a four star rating!

And today we may read: “MORE than 1500 people signed a petition to have the show canned but by the end of the first episode, many questioned what all the fuss was about.” See Struggle Street gets mixed reaction on social media, trends into the top spot on Twitter and the first Tele review:

It’s not just Mount Druitt facing problems with youth unemployment and homelessness. Ice addiction is not limited to this part of the country. Mental health issues don’t target one suburb. And struggling to pay bills isn’t a problem just for the 2770 district.

By giving a voice to those affected by hardships many of us watching the show have no personal experience with, the producers of Struggle Street say they aimed to open eyes. They certainly opened mine…

…we also see the love and support that the Kennedy family have for each other despite their problems as they gather to celebrate Father’s Day at the parental home.

Because at the end of the day, like any family or community, the residents shown on Struggle Street band together when the going gets tough.

And I hope that I’m not the only viewer who takes that away from what is at times a confronting program.

That is more like it. I give it four stars too. Compare Mamamia:

The general consensus on social media was that Struggle Street is a valuable and insightful look into hardship that is full of “heart”.

Apart from the slightly condescending commentary and the unexpected juxtaposition of upbeat music and jokes against the stories of people really fighting to get by, this is reality TV at its most realistic.

Last night I tweeted:

Saw #StruggleStreet on #sbs — bloody good. Daily Terror way off. Not snobbish, Kudos to all involved. Real life on TV at last!

So did others, for example:

 Terry Willesee @TWillesee Congrats SBS. Top show. Salt of the earth battlers. #StruggleStreet Families still able to love and laugh. Lessons for us all.

Rev. Bill Crews @RevBillCrews #StruggleStreet All that energy expended in trying to censor the program should be directed into practical positive policies.No hiding stuff

Tony Windsor @TonyHWindsor

#StruggleStreet The issues raised are not peculiar to Mt Druitt .Many country communities have families with identical concerns

A companion at City Diggers yesterday lives in one of our own Struggle Streets – there was a murder there the other week. I’ll be interested to see what he thought of the show. He took my point about the hypocrisy of the Tele Aunt Sally Attacks and was also amused to see the TV Guide’s very different rating.