Netflix’s “Maid” highlights resilience and strength

On Oct. 1, 2021, Netflix released the ten-episode-long limited series Maid. Inspired by Stephanie Land‘s 2019 memoir — Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive — the suspenseful drama follows a single mother navigating life with her daughter and abusive ex-boyfriend. The series is directed by executive producer John Wells and showrunner/executive producer Molly Smith Metzler. I highly recommend Maid, which opened my eyes to domestic violence and many job challenges.

I particularly enjoyed this show because of the acting, which is very intense and emotional. The show starts off slow and quickly becomes a rollercoaster of events. It begins with Alex, played by Margaret Qualley, in a consuming, toxic relationship with her long-term boyfriend, Sean ( played by Nick Robinson). Throughout the years they’ve been living together, Sean’s consumption of alcohol daily has turned into a dangerous addiction, leading him to physically abuse his family and Alex. Alex gets pregnant, enraging her partner who tries to convince her not to have the baby. She soon realizes she can no longer live in this threatening environment, especially with a newborn baby, and Alex sets out to fend for herself.

Maid highlights the difficulty of rebuilding one’s life with a lack of familial support. While dating Sean, Alex did not speak to her mother or stay in contact with her father. Her lack of education does not give her many options. Alex shuffles through having to live with her abusive ex-partner, “dysfunctional” mother, and at shelters while raising a child.

She finds work as a maid but doesn’t have enough income to buy cleaning supplies, so she is soon fired. However, Alex works hard to create the best life possible for her and her daughter, Maddy, while also struggling to cope with PTSD. From living in her car to facing legal troubles while trying to find a home without income, Alex eventually finds comfort in a domestic violence shelter. Alex perseveres through legal issues relating to her daughter’s custody, all while being a homeless single mother, and still manages to achieve many of her goals.

Each intense episode pushed me to think more deeply about the world around me and my life, gaining awareness from Alex’s experiences.

Throughout the years of Alex’s youth, we see her life drastically change. The show includes the easy and happy moments as well as the not-so-easy moments, displaying her life overall developing into something much more meaningful and fulfilled. 

Maid is a heavy series with a powerful message that a range of audiences can appreciate. However, I recommend it more for high school students and faculty, as some episodes contain violence that may be inappropriate for a younger audience. It is definitely a show worth watching and prompts reflection. I hope it inspires many to learn more about domestic violence and how to help. If you have had similar experiences, Maid demonstrates that it can always get better, and you should never give up. 

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