On October the 1st, the Original Limited Series Maid dropped onto everyone’s favourite streaming platform, Netflix. It’s the latest drama to take social media by storm, with glowing reviews filling up Twitter. Lauded for it’s brilliant representation of single motherhood and the trials that come along with it, Maid explores what it’s like to live on the poverty line and takes a chillingly close look at emotional abuse - an often overlooked area of domestic violence.
Is Maid based on a true story?
The story behind Maid feels all the more raw when you realise it's based on a true story, detailed in Stephanie Land’s memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive. Emily Cooke of The New York Times summed up her review by focusing on the clarity of Land's suffering in the work: 'Land survived the hardship of her years as a maid, her body exhausted and her brain filled with bleak arithmetic, to offer her testimony. It’s worth listening to.'
There are many parallels between the book and it’s on-screen adaptation. Stephanie Land, who Alex’s character is based on, spent several years living below the poverty line in her late twenties as a single mother.
But there are some big differences between Stephanie’s story, and the plot was fictionalised for Netflix. Stephanie wasn’t poor all her life like Alex. She had actually grown up in a middle-class family but just like Alex, she struggled financially - joining several welfare programmes to stay afloat - after having her first child against her boyfriend’s wishes. In both the series and the real story, Stephanie and Alex’s boyfriends had wanted them to terminate the pregnancies.
Stephanie Lane’s initial mental health struggles came from being in a car accident at 16, and suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Similar to what Alex experiences in the TV series, Stephanie Land's relationship with the father of her daughter had become emotionally abusive. She said that he gradually built up to being violent. In the book, Stephanie refers to her abuser by name, but it has been changed to ‘Sean’ for the series.
What is the plot of Maid?
Much like the book Maid is based on, the Netflix original series follows the lead, single mother Alex, as she grapples with a low income after fleeing with her young daughter from an abusive relationship. She takes on a low-paying job cleaning as a maid to help her and her young daughter, Maddy, land on their feet. Eventually, she comes to terms with the abuse she has endured - understanding it more and fearing it less - and even overcomes homelessness to create a better life for her and her daughter, Maddy.
Throughout the show, she faces obstacles to reaching safety. From an unreliable family to a support system made entirely from friends of her abuser.
Maid gives an inside look at the struggles and challenges women face when leaving an abusive situation. The first episode is a series of false starts on her journey to a safe haven.
Will there be a Maid season two?
With a powerful story, amazing representation of single motherhood and the reality of domestic violence, fans of the show are desperate to know if there will be a season two of Maid. In fact, 'Maid season 2' is currently a breakout search term on Google.
So far, Netflix has not confirmed whether or not they will commission season two, but given that season one has only just premiered on Netflix that's no surprise.
The concern for fans is, Maid was marketed from the beginning as a limited series - so it seems unlikely that there will be a season two (and the series we’ve all enjoyed will probably only have a home on Netflix for a restricted amount of time). Even Queen's Gambit didn’t get a second series - despite demands for it, and several awards brought in by the gripping series.
Stay tuned though - you never know when Netflix might decide to surprise us!
Who is on the Maid cast?
The incredible Netflix series stars Margaret Qualley in the lead role as Alex. Andie MacDowell, Qualley’s mother in real life, plays her mother on-screen too - a sweet touch! The rest of the cast includes Love, Simon’s Nick Robinson, Everything, Everything star Anika Noni Rose, and Billy Burke - best known for his role in Twilight.
Liked this? Check out Netflix's best period dramas...
Netflix's Best Period Dramas - Grazia
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