The hit series about domestic violence on Netflix has so many layers of love and hope.
Warning: There are a few spoilersahead.
A friend of mine recently urged me to watch the series Maid that is proving popular with many Netflix subscribers. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a comedy-drama based on the novel by Samantha Land that tells her story of escaping the clutches of an abusive partner, along with her toddler daughter, becoming a maid to fight her extreme poverty, and getting to college so she can turn her life around.
While this is impressive in itself, the maid, played by Margaret Qualley, also tries to help her mom, who has bipolar disorder and is herself a victim of abusive relationships. What makes this sub-plot so charming and believable is that the mom is played by Andie McDowell, who happens to be Qualley’s real-life mom.
The minute you’re introduced to Alex, the maid, you feel compelled to follow her story. You find yourself willing her on as she battles through fear, bureaucracy, legalese, and the many complex relationships she has with multiple people in her life. All the while she’s doing her best to make life as beautiful as she can for her baby Maddy (who incidentally is played by a fabulous little actor!).
Yet what makes this series such good viewing, other than the multiple layers of emotion, is the positivity that seems to shine from all of the troubled mothers in the show. Here are just a few of instances.
Alex, the young mom and maid
It takes a brave person to take their daughter in the middle of the night, without a single possession, and seek safety in the unknown. Even in the grip of fear, she has to figure out some baffling procedures just to secure a roof over her and her daughter’s head.
Yet, as moms so often do, Alex rises to the occasion, with tenderness, determination, and a love so strong she will do anything to keep her daughter safe.
As the viewer follows Alex on her journey, it’s hard not to love this newly single mom who has the humor to laugh (and cry) at some of the funny (and scary) situations she finds herself in.
And as the story continues, it’s wonderful to see Alex flourish, and start to give back in her own unique way.
Paula, Alex’s mom
The mom, although she experiences some episodes of mania in the story and goes from one failed relationship to another in search of happiness, finds much joy in her somewhat “interesting” artistic interpretations. Her love of the beauty she sees in the tiniest of objects is contagious.
She obviously loves her daughter, and fought to keep her safe years earlier, but in the end she’s the one who seems to have suffered the most from abuse. So much so that she normalizes the abuse her own daughter is experiencing. But, what the viewer sees is a complex relationship between the two women, rooted in love and a desire to protect each other.
Regina, the uppity client
Soon after meeting Regina, a high-powered demanding lawyer, you realize that underneath the cashmere lies a lot of pain. Her storyline is perhaps more controversial due to fertility issues, and a subsequent surrogate birth, but it’s hard not to love the fundamental changes we see in her when she becomes a mother.
Gone is the woman donning carefully chosen immaculate outfits, replaced by a mom who has found an ability to express her love towards her child, and to others.
So here are a few of the takeaways from the show:
- Even in the worst of times there is love and joy to be found. And while Alex isn’t religious, those of us who are can recognize that when times are tough, there is a higher power at work, leading you along a path that will lead to happiness, if you look for it in the simplest of things.
- There are some really good people out there who will go to great lengths to help others; all you need to do is ask. It is the asking that can be the most difficult.
- There is nothing more beautiful and powerful than a mother’s love.
Would I recommend it?
Certainly, although if you’re sensitive to “colorful” language you might want to steer clear. Viewers who have themselves experienced domestic abuse, mental illness, or addiction may find the subject matter difficult. And while you may disagree with characters’ choices, this shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the main focus of the series. Personally, I saw it as an informative story of abuse and addiction, with an overriding feeling of hope for the future.