Yes, there are so many cringeworthy shows, some of them unaccountably popular too. Can’t be bothered naming them! You know what I mean. But there are so many gems too. For example, I have lately caught up with replays of The Recording Studio on ABC. And last night SBS offered an absolute treasure: Struggle Street Season 3.
The controversial SBS documentary, which was criticised and labelled “poverty porn” when it first premiered in 2015 documenting the lives of people living in the western Sydney suburb of Mount Druitt, returned for a third season on Wednesday night.
This time it explores the lives of individuals living in Ashmont and towns across the Riverina region — an area distinctly affected by the ongoing NSW drought.
“It’s absolutely gutting watching this,” one viewer wrote on Twitter.
“This should be mandatory viewing by everyone in government. My heart breaks for our country,” another said.
See Meet the participants of season 3 of ‘Struggle Street’.
Last night we met:
Barry and Rosey
Barry’s family have been dairy farmers for a century and a half. Barry, 54 and his wife Rosey, 49, with their two young children, Annabella, two, and Lincoln, five, live in Deniliquin in the southern Riverina. As the drought stretches on relentlessly, their farm is on its knees. A lack of government-allocated water, escalating costs and the fixed price of milk have culminated in desperate times for Barry and Rosey. Rain is their only chance of salvation. Can they stay afloat long enough to save their farm?
For over four decades, 72-year-old Robert, known as Bob, has lived on the road, cycling to jobs from rural town to rural town, mostly living in a tent or makeshift lean-to. But since sustaining injuries when he came off his bike, he’s been forced to stay put. When we meet him, he’s living in a caravan on the edge of North Wagga Wagga and dealing with ongoing medical conditions. Facing the prospect of having to stay put, Bob is not taking well to the idea of giving up his itinerant lifestyle.
Mason and Katherine
Mason and Katherine live in Tolland, five kilometres from downtown Wagga Wagga. The suburb has developed a bad reputation due to its high unemployment rate and growing crime. Mason is looking for work and Katherine is stay-at-home mum to two-year-old daughter, Suzianna. Their home is a drop-in centre of sorts. Katherine’s taken in two pregnant teenagers and also helps Mason’s partially blind best mate, Ethan. When their home is broken into and ransacked, Katherine questions the environment in which she’s raising her child.
This is truly REALITY TV — a very healthy dose of reality it is too. A must watch.