Maid: Maid
October 7, 2021 9:11 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Single mother Alex turns to housecleaning to make ends meet as she escapes an abusive relationship and overcomes homelessness to create a better life for her daughter, Maddy.
posted by dianeF (11 comments total)
I keep thinking, ‘Why am I watching this?’ and ‘Why am I posting about it?’
posted by dianeF at 9:14 PM on October 7, 2021

I just saw the trailer (it basically gives the entire plot arc away), and it feels like old school 'party of family values' propaganda trying to be relevant.

There's a seed of something interesting there, but the trailer felt manipulative.
posted by porpoise at 11:19 PM on October 7, 2021

I thought it was a thriller and I was waiting for that element for awhile. I’m not finished with it so maybe something thrilling will happen.
posted by dianeF at 5:22 AM on October 8, 2021

I watched it.
Nothing thrilling happens. [Predictable Spoilers] Circumstances drive her back into the trailer with her abusive ex who predictably abuses her. She gets out. Repeats the plot of episode 1 but this time wiser and with better access to rich people. Escapes the cycle.

So the moral of the story is that the resources that exist to help the poor truly suck, but they're better if you've been abused, so you better make sure you're good and abused before you decide to go be poor, and also no matter how capable you are the only real way out is if you make friends with people who have more money and resources than you.

6/10 I thought the acting was pretty good, especially from the small child who nailed every line, and it's nice seeing Andie MacDowell in something other than a skin cream commercial.
posted by phunniemee at 7:25 AM on October 8, 2021 [6 favorites]

I'm currently watching the show, and I've read Stephanie Land's book on which it is based. I think it could be pretty eye-opening if you've never worked the kind of job where exploitation and wage theft are rampant. And, you know, that's not only the particular job she had. There are plenty of retail jobs that are like that, the kind where you hear unemployed professionals say, "Well if things get really bad, I'll just get a job at XYZ," where XYZ is a semi-prestigious retailer with terrible management. Work those jobs, and you really can end up with a negative amount of money, as dramatized on the show.

Also, if you've ever had the idea that getting a comparatively sweet government housing deal and subsidized daycare would always be a plausible solution to your problems if you became a poor single parent, this could be illuminating.

There are problems with the book and the movie because (as phunniemee alludes to, I think) Land is white and comes across as middle-class and certainly occupied a place of comparative privilege even when this was going on. And just the very fact of the outcome for Land makes it clear that this was a temporary situation. But it is a slice of life that many middle class people are (in my experience) pretty much unaware of.
posted by BibiRose at 4:24 PM on October 8, 2021 [3 favorites]

I guess one element I did like was the Nate character. Just because a man appears to have his shit together doesn't mean he isn't another controlling asshole lying in wait.
posted by phunniemee at 4:55 PM on October 8, 2021 [2 favorites]

The scene where she left Doritos for Barefoot Billy brought tears to my eyes... just kidding, this thing is a mess.
posted by dianeF at 7:50 PM on October 8, 2021

Y'all are way too hard on this thing.

Granted, I thought that Rose, or the actress who played her, would have made a much better Alex. Less naivity and purity would have been more realistic by far, for this role. But the Rose-actress is not a famous person's kid, so... even the thieving maid from Barefoot Billy's house would have been more convincing. Qualley seems to me like a girl who got lost on her way to ballet school.

I fully expected Danielle to reappear with a black eye, or wrapped in a coroner's sheet... the writers leaving the viewer to wonder about her fate bothered me. No resolution for the character, except the obvious one: abuse and misery until she's either killed, or leaves. I wish that had been wrapped up.

The chemistry between Qualley and the little girl, though: adorable. And frankly, I liked the ending. It felt like a reward after having watched all that chaos and trauma.

I like stories where "nothing thrilling happens" though, so this worked for me.
posted by Crystal Fox at 8:10 AM on October 23, 2021 [2 favorites]

Enjoying this, but I agree Qualley was terribly miscast. And writing memoirs about how rich people, they are sad too?

I'm about halfway through, it's good background TV.
posted by jeather at 9:04 AM on December 13, 2021

I’m in the middle of watching this, a year or so after it came out. For me, this is slowly unfolding horror. Yeah there are elements that are a bit too tidy for the sake of narrative, audience expectations, class bias, etc. but the characters are close enough to real people I know that I have just been tense and on the edge of my seat the entire time. The barefoot Billy episode has been the only respite so far, both because the actual horror genre beats it was hitting in the house they’re cleaning seemed so over the top it took me out of it, and because I was hoping to meet that presumably heavily traumatised timid homeless guy as an antidote to those tropes. Guess I overestimated the subtlety of the creative team there. I’m finding it good, and in many respects too true to life. I do not look forward to the conclusion, which given the brushes with privilege/ wealth so far probably involves that being the solution to the protagonist’s problems, but then that’s depressingly true to life too. The deck is stacked against people who need help, and privilege is a workaround for the few. It’d be an even more upsetting show, but I wonder if they ever considered doing different people’s stories in parallel, and using the memoir more as a jumping off point, like Orange Is The New Black. That could have been really interesting/ illuminating.
posted by threecheesetrees at 6:05 AM on November 20, 2022

I’m surprised to see the hate here. I quite liked this!

I think it was a great portrayal of the difficulty DV survivors face in trying to leave. Alex does “all the right things” in her first attempt to leave, but faces multiple setbacks.

The disbelief she experienced about her emotional abuse seemed spot on. The way everyone (especially her dad) stood up for Sean was so upsetting and rang 100% true. I also really appreciated their portrayal of Sean and how she could end up going back to him. Also, the separation of the abuse from the alcoholism. He was sober when he started abusing her again. The generational trauma with her dad was also an interesting layer; I appreciate that they didn’t let him off the hook with that. They made him choose to stand by Sean, since he couldn’t face the implications otherwise. I figured Sean’s custody battle would end with the dad writing the testimonial, so I was pleasantly surprised that was the last we heard from him.
posted by bluloo at 9:53 PM on May 22, 2023

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