The controversial show Struggle Street premiered on Wednesday night, shining a light on issues faced by Riverina families.
In the first episode, viewers met Mason and Katherine who live in Tolland raising their 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.
Then there was Barry, whose family have been dairy farmers for a century-and-a-half.
Barry, 54 and his wife Rosey, 49, with their two young children, Annabella, 2, and Lincoln, 5, live in Deniliquin in the southern Riverina. As the drought stretches on relentlessly, the family struggles.
Finally, there was 72-year-old Robert, known as Bob, who has lived on the road, cycling to jobs from town to town, mostly living in a tent or makeshift lean-to.
Bec Zadow, a former Riverina resident, watched the premiere of the show.
"I'm proud to say I lived in Ashmont for 20 years and I'm proud to say that I attended Ashmont Public School - a school that gave me solid foundations and set me up for success in my life," she said. "There is no doubt that there are pockets ... of crime and drug problems in Wagga, like many other regional and metropolitan centres."
Ms Zadow went on to say that with these pockets throughout the city there does come abhorrent, behaviour.
"But if you tar everyone with the same brush, and make those who live in Ashmont - or "Trashmont" as it is so often rudely referred to - feel ashamed of where they live, then you actually become a part of the problem," she said.
Ms Zadow urged people not to judge or label people based on where they live. Instead, she advocated for education to be encouraged as a way to be successful.
"Regardless of the status of their socio-economic upbringing, they are good people, they are hard workers, and it matters that they're here contributing to this world," she said.
"We need to make sure all kids growing up in these areas know that they are worth it and that they can go on and do great things in their community and beyond."
Fredrik Velander, a lecturer in social work and human services at Charles Sturt University, said the program's ability to draw attention to the city's issues should have some positive consequences.
"There is no point denying some people in Wagga, and in other places across Australia, are suffering from severe social problems, including unemployment, addiction to drugs and alcohol, and a lack of access to appropriate healthcare, education or social services," he said.
"Attention like this is often the best way to alert the rest of the nation, and especially those with the power to institute change, to take meaningful action."
Dr Velander said the stories told demonstrate the government's failure.
He added that to solve the issues the Riverina is facing, from farmers struggling financially to crime hotspots, there needs to be more than just throwing money at the problems.
In the aftermath of the first episode, The Daily Advertiser asked Riverina Nationals' MP and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack if he had watched the show, and what his thoughts on the premise were.
He said documentaries are a powerful way to provide a snapshot of society.
"Unfortunately, the stories conveyed on Struggle Street are not isolated to our region," Mr McCormack said.
"It is easy to find the negatives. There are remarkable Australians doing amazing things, many of those in regional areas, who never gain any credit for what they do.
"I would encourage the national media to find those stories and paint our communities in a more positive light."
Mr McCormack said the federal government is also there for those who may have fallen on hard times and listed a few economic initiatives.
"Social security and welfare represent 35 per cent of the Australian government's expenses," he said.
Mr McCormack added the government had provided more than $7 billion in assistance and concessional loans to support primary producers and communities get through the drought.
"Even if an MP did not have time to watch a show such as Struggle Street, his or her constituency would certainly convey their concerns to the MP's office," he said.