Many of Netflix’s recent releases have been overshadowed by the continuous success of Squid Game. But rising in popularity is the October release Maid, a ten-episode limited series starring Margaret Qualley as a single mother, Alex, who escapes an abusive relationship and starts working for a cleaning service in an effort to overcome homelessness with her young daughter. The plot is inspired by Stephanie Land’s bestselling memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive. Showrunner Molly Smith Metzler and her group of writers and directors turn a real story into one fit for the dramatics of the small screen, with unexpected moments of humor and expressive production.
With eighteen dollars in her pocket when she leaves her husband and home, Alex’s battle to move forward is a hard one with every obstacle she is forced to overcome. One of them is her lack of money to hire a babysitter when she has to work, forcing her to connect with her own manic-depressive mother, an eccentric artist played by Andie MacDowell. Macdowell is also Qualley’s actual mother in real life, and the complex relationship between mother and child not only with Alex and her daughter is highlighted in their portrayal of tentative trust as well.
Despite many recent releases, Maid has still managed to gain quite a bit of attention. A month after its release, the show was officially on track to beat Netflix’s 2020 hit series The Queen’s Gambit for most-watched limited series within a month on Netflix with almost 67 million households. The all-time record is still held by Squid Game with an impressive 142 million accounts.
What I ultimately enjoyed about Maid was that the story is not as sad or depressing as one may think when they hear the premise. Through a mother’s unbeatable will to survive, viewers can see the moments of joy during Alex’s journey that come from simply being able to be with her daughter. However complicated, we are reminded that family remains family.