“Maid” me smile

Netflix’s new mini-series was a roller coaster of emotions


“Maid” had me crying, laughing, and in awe at the amazing storytelling and producing.

Sadie Smith, Staff Reporter

Take a second to think about how much you take for granted. Every day, you go home to a home with food and a warm bed. Your family probably owns a car or some form of transportation that allows you to get to places you need to go. You are reading this article on a phone or laptop that provides you with access to all of the knowledge in the world. Not everyone is privileged enough to have a place to go home to every night or consistent access to food. On October 1, 2021, Netflix released “Maid,” an original series that follows a young woman struggling to support herself and her child after escaping an abusive relationship. 

The show is set in Washington state, where Alex (Margaret Qualley) starts out the series living in a trailer with her boyfriend Sean (Nick Robinson) and 2-year-old daughter Maddy (Rylea Neveah Whittet). In the first episode, Alex fears for her safety living with her abusive boyfriend, so she takes Maddy and leaves. Alex was fully dependent on Sean for everything, so she has nothing when she escapes. 

The first night alone, Alex and Maddy have nowhere to sleep, so they stay in their car. As the series goes on, it seems that Alex cannot catch a break. They get into a car accident that almost kills Maddy and destroys the car, leaving the girls with nowhere to go. They wind up in a homeless shelter for victims of domestic abuse. Alex gets a job as a maid, and things start to look up.

This series has some of the most heartbreaking plot twists I have ever seen in a Netflix series. Every time things start to get better for Alex and Maddy, they experience another set back. After getting situated into their new home and Alex finally finding a job, Sean hires a lawyer to try to get full custody of Maddy. After losing everything she had, Alex is determined not to lose Maddy too. With no money for a lawyer, Alex tries her best to advocate for herself, but ends up losing custody of Maddy for a week until she can prove that she is financially and emotionally stable enough to provide care for her daughter. 

While in the midst of fighting for custody and the safety of Maddy, Alex reaches out for support from her mom, Paula (Andie MacDowell). Unfortunately, her mom proves to be too mentally unstable to help, and more pressure is put on Alex to care for her. This all occurs within the first couple episodes, and the situation worsens as the series progresses.I don’t want to give too many spoilers, but all of these tragedies are just the beginning for Alex and Maddy.

Throughout the series, Alex struggles with trying to get her life together while still pursuing her dream of being a writer. Her top priority is always her daughter, but her passion for writing pushes her to try and find opportunities for herself to follow her dream. While externally battling Sean and homelessness, she is also internally battling with herself- will she stay in Washington, working as a maid forever or will she take a chance and pursue a future in writing?

The storyline of the show is absolutely beautiful and devastating at the same time. The series was adapted from a memoir by Stephanie Land, also titled “Maid.” While I can’t comment on the accuracy of the series compared to the book, I can say with full confidence that the show conveyed the part of a struggling young mother working to make a better life for herself and her daughter in an exceptionally harrowing way. 

Performing any role in this show would be a huge undertaking. It would be extremely difficult for any actor to properly portray the emotion and meaning behind the series. All of the actors, especially Qualley, did a fantastic job of depicting their roles in a sophisticated and realistic way. Throughout the series, I felt a connection to each of the characters. I found myself lost in the world of “Maid” and felt the weight of Alex’s struggles as if they were my own. The casting for this series was executed gorgeously. 

Although the series is arguably one of the best I have seen, it cannot escape critique. A good portion of the show is shown through Alex’s flashbacks- watching her grow up, experiencing abuse from Sean, and even watching her mom get abused as a young child. While these flashbacks did add to the story, it got confusing to follow at times. Sometimes it was hard to distinguish between what was really happening and what was a flashback. 

Aside from some minor details, the overall show was eye-opening and impactful to those who have never been in that sort of situation. The acting, cinematography, and message behind the show were all outstandingly executed. I would recommend this show to anyone looking for something fast paced and engaging. 9.5/10.