Most people in Barry Warburton's position wouldn't want to be shadowed by a film crew - but for the 54-year-old dairy farmer, who features in the new season of SBS's Struggle Street, it was a welcome distraction.
"If you've got nothing to do, your mental health can suffer," says Warburton, who lives in the drought-stricken Riverina region with wife Rosey and their two children.
"I actually enjoyed having [the crew] come out here ... and it'll be good for city people to see the problems facing other parts of the country."
Last year, the couple spent $55,000 trying to repair their water bore - only to watch it collapse in February.
They've reached the limit on the overdraft and borrowed money from relatives. Sometimes, their electricity bill alone exceeds their income and despite a recent rise in dairy prices, they're running at a loss.
"The supermarkets use cheap milk as a draw to get people in," says Warburton, a seventh-generation farmer.
"It doesn't matter to them if they make money from it ... but for us, we're in a hole and it's very hard to climb out."
He's lost count of neighbouring dairy farms that have closed - and the marriages that buckled under the strain.
"[Rosey and I] are fighting and getting cranky with each other a lot easier," he says.
"But we're still good. All we can do is take every day as it comes."
In its first two seasons, Struggle Street focused on impoverished inner-city and suburban residents; its third season, which starts on October 9, was filmed entirely in the Riverina.
Before the show's debut in 2015, Blacktown mayor Stephen Bali - who feared his constituents would become "poverty porn" fodder - dispatched a fleet of garbage trucks to blockade SBS's Sydney studios.
Two years later, Victoria's Hume City Council denied Struggle Street a filming permit in a failed attempt to stop the crew shooting in Broadmeadows.
They see all this cheap cheese at the supermarket and they have no idea of what goes into making itBarry Warburton
Producers braced for another backlash this year. Instead, Wagga Wagga's mayor and its St Vincent de Paul president were among those who welcomed the chance to discuss the region's problems.
"I was totally surprised," says Marshall Heald, SBS's TV and online content boss.
"I think they recognised that the benefits of spotlighting these issues would outweigh any potential negatives."
Warburton, who watches little television, hadn't heard of Struggle Street until a drought aid worker put him in touch with producers.
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"Fifty years ago, everyone in the city had relatives who lived on a farm," he says.
"A lot of city people don't know anyone in the country now. They see all this cheap cheese at the supermarket and they have no idea of what goes into making it."
He hopes his involvement will put further scrutiny on the Murray-Darling Basin Plan:
"For us, it's been a disaster ... there's zero water coming down the Darling so most of South Australia's requirements are coming from the Murray."
If things don't improve soon, the Warburtons will have to sell all their cattle and consider a switch to crop farming, a costly exercise destined to fail unless the drought breaks.
The region can scarcely afford to lose another business, with a rice mill laying off 100 workers before Christmas and "For Sale" signs on many properties. The nearby town of Deniliquin is feeling the pressure.
"There used to be seven doctors in the surgery I go to and now there are three," Warburton says.
Heald believes the seven million Australians who live in regional or remote areas are under-served by major media outlets.
"They face higher rates of poverty and poorer health than people in major cities, and they have unique challenges because of their geographic isolation," he says.
"What's happening in the Riverina is emblematic of what's happening across the country."