An ample stomach, barely contained by a faded pink singlet. It's the first human we've seen on the second series of Benefits Street, a UK docu-reality series, and it's a headless, footless belly.
This is television - everything's deliberate - and the shot seems to be daring you to judge the belly's owner, Julie Young, for living well enough to acquire it while living on a benefit.
By the first episode's end, no possessor of a human heart could feel anything but immense sympathy for Young. Near the end, there's a long sequence featuring her singing Roberta Flack's The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face into the ear of her son. He's perhaps 10 years old, and has what is clinically described as "severe and complex needs" after experiencing cardiac arrest at nine months old.
Young quit a good job as a community worker to care for him full time. "It's not fair. It shouldn't have happened," she says. "But he's here."
That same blunt summary might be used to describe the situations of most of the subjects of Benefits Street. It is to the show's great credit that it puts lives which are otherwise ignored or caricatured on our televisions in prime time. Challenging you to be dismissive, once you're in something approximating full possession of the facts.
The first season of the show caused a firestorm on its first broadcast in the UK.
The response broke along tribal lines. The right said it proved the rectitude of benefit cuts and sanctions, and showed the fecklessness of those claiming state support. The left that it should never have been made, that in showing shoplifting it was unrepresentative, in showing poverty it was exploitative.
As is often the case, each side of the debate was dumb.
No sane person would look at lives of abject poverty and assume the solution was less money. And no self-styled advocate for those on low incomes should try to pretend that each and every one of them is perfect, or that they're incapable of making informed choices.
As with most ratings sensations, Benefits Street begat sequels. Immigration Street aired this year, and more recently an Australian version called Struggle Street - a better, less diminishing and less provocative name - ran here as well as there.
It was a revelation: harder, grimmer, more despairing and simply better than its English counterpart, which has a jarringly comic tone at times. On Struggle Street, the agonies of mental illness and drug addiction have rarely been rendered in such sharp relief.
The first episode of the second season of Benefits Street wasn't so dark, and not always to its credit. We staggered along with Maxwell, who necked 10 Diazepam then missed the bus to his court case. A lengthy meta-narrative concerned the MPs and London tabloids who cynically descended on Kingston Rd when word got out that the series was filming.
The footage of tabloid journalists and photographers asking not to be filmed, while they long-lens into the lives of the show's subjects, was profoundly depressing, and I'm not sure what we learned, other than the show's makers are somewhat defensive.
But once the MP had wrung his hands and the paparazzi had got their shots, the residents gathered to front steps and kitchens, riding bikes, drinking beer, swapping haircuts for dinners and generally behaving with a community spirit which it's easy to imagine only exists in our grandparents' memories.
The film-makers do tread an uneasy line between betraying obvious sympathy for their subjects, and leaving certain shots and phrases in for laughs or gasps.
But it provides a clear window into an issue that too often exists only as a budget-line or statistic.
You know what would make the view from that window even more arresting? If it were into our own backyard. One of the most admirable things about Benefits Street, to my mind, is its lack of overt politicisation.
Where most prior documentaries covering poverty have attempted to find us a villain, Benefits Street says simply: this exists - are you okay with that?
Some might see that as dodging responsibility. But poverty is not a recent phenomenon - it didn't appear with this government, nor the one before it. The situation has been with humankind throughout its existence. Like climate change, you're more likely to get a result if it's prised from the grip of the political realm and placed in the moral.
Because now, more than ever before, we have the data and the money to do something about the complex web that creates and entrenches it.
A local Benefits Street could show us poverty's symptoms in HD, in prime time. And in so doing implicitly challenge us to try harder to find a cure.
Sadly, no such series appears on the horizon. Instead the big local story at TVNZ's launch last week was another big budget prestige drama. Its name? Filthy Rich.