“Maid” Series Review


Illustration by Sophia Musante

Vasilia Yordanova

I look forward to evenings when I can spend some time alone, curled up in bed and scrolling through Netflix in search of a mindless distraction from the stress of school. On one such night, I happened across “Maid,” a newly released drama series. Before clicking on the show, I realized that because of its sensitive nature I would likely be in tears within minutes; “Maid” was definitely not the lighthearted comedy I initially had in mind. However, I was drawn to it anyway, and within minutes I found myself captivated.

Released on Oct. 1, “Maid” tells the story of a working mother’s persistence and determination. According to NPR, the show is inspired by Stephanie Land’s “Maid Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive,” in which Land shares her story as a working-class woman struggling to provide for herself and her child.

In “Maid,” 23-year-old Alex and her daughter Maddy, a toddler, escape from Alex’s emotionally abusive alcoholic boyfriend Sean. However, freedom does not come without cost: Alex must overcome an array of obstacles in order to achieve a safe and stable life. As she tries to navigate the complex social services system in Wash., she begins working a demanding and low-wage job with Value Maids, a cleaning company. Over the course of the show, Alex must balance this challenging job with several issues related to childcare, her living situation and custody of Maddy. Further, as she struggles to make ends meet and support her mother through mental illness, she must address her own mental state and stay strong against Sean’s pleas for her to return to him.

“Maid” does a wonderful job developing nuanced and multifaceted characters. Despite dealing with sensitive issues such as abuse and mental illness, the show does not portray anyone as entirely good or evil. In fact, the audience is able to understand the circumstances which shaped each character and their actions, forcing them to feel sympathy even for those they initially hated.

Even more importantly, Alex’s story sheds light on a daily and concrete reality for many Americans: over 10% of Americans live in poverty, and even near poverty is very far from what many might imagine it to be.

All of these plot points may seem extremely depressing, and they are. Instead of diverting my attention from real life, I was forced to think deeply about the world around me and reflect on the significance of my own worries. Although such a heavy series is not what most of us usually look for in our entertainment when dealing with problems in our own lives, “Maid” reminds us that no matter how difficult life can be there will always be hope and happiness for those who truly look for it.