Maid on Netflix: Margaret Qualley and Rylea Nevaeh Whittet

Maid: Margot Robbie’s new Netflix drama is your big must-watch this October

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Inspired by true events, Netflix’s Maid offers up a raw and inspiring exploration of a mother’s resilience. 

October is finally upon us, which means we’re looking forward to a TV schedule packed to the brim with juicy autumnal goodies – and Maid, which is available to stream on Netflix from today, definitely fits the bill.

With Margot Robbie on board as an executive producer via her company LuckyChap (as in, yes, the same company that brought us Promising Young Woman), the emotionally-charged series begins in the dead of night, as a young woman bundles her daughter into a car and desperately flees an abusive relationship. The relief we feel when she swerves her furious partner and hits the open road hits us so keenly it’s almost painful. She did it, we think. She made it out.

If only life were so simple. 

Throughout the series, which is based on Stephanie Land’s memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, And A Mother’s Will To Survive, this cycle of mother and daughter trying to make their escape is repeated endlessly, because Alex has no support system. She has, as the onscreen running total of her finances makes abundantly clear, no money. And as such, she is seemingly never able to stop running, not for one moment.

Alex, though, is a fighter – and it is her hope for a brighter future, her gritty determination, that lends levity to this deeply emotional story and makes it so very watchable.

Here’s what you need to know about the emotionally charged drama series.

What’s the plot of Maid?

As mentioned, Maid follows the story of Alex, a young mother who’s desperate to escape an abusive relationship. 

Maid on Netflix: production still
Maid follows the story of Alex, a single mother who turns to housecleaning in a bid to make ends meet.

When she finally flees with her daughter in tow, Alex turns to housecleaning to – barely – make ends meet. And, in the process, she becomes a “nameless ghost” to her upper-middle class clients, many of whom do not know her from any other cleaner, but who she learns plenty about.

That being said, though, there’s so much more to this series than intense melancholia; it is also one of the most hopeful dramas we’ve seen in a long time – not to mention an inspiring exploration of a mother’s resilience. Because Alex, despite the odds being ever against her, does everything within her power to create a better life for her and her little girl. And her optimism adds some much-needed levity, meaning this deeply emotional journey is still packed with humour along the way.

Who stars in Maid?

Margaret Qualley (of Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood fame) takes the lead in this dramedy as Alex. And she is flanked by a seriously talented cast, too; Qualley’s real-life mum, Andie MacDowell, takes on the role of Alex’s mother. And then we have the likes of Anika Noni Rose, Andie MacDowell, Nick Robinson, Tracy Vilar, and Billy Burke to contend with, too.

Rylea Nevaeh Whittet, Raymond Ablack, BJ Harrison, Xavier de Guzman, Aimee Carrero, and Toby Levins also star.

Is there a trailer for Maid?

The full-length trailer for Maid, which boasts a searing performance from Qualley, can be seen below:

As one YouTube viewer’s comment reads: “Sold. Her narration is enthralling and the plot sounds great. I’ll be watching.”

What are people saying about Maid?

Showrunner and writer Molly Smith Metzler has revealed that she spent time at domestic abuse shelters and emergency shelters, went through the intake process at each, and met with survivors and their children in order to prepare for the series.

Anika Noni Rose in Maid
In Maid, Anika Noni Rose stars as one of Alex’s housecleaning clients – but, while she seems to have everything she could possibly want, there’s more to her than meets the eye.

“When writers look to adapt material for the screen, we look for a hero,” she says, explaining that she wanted to offer viewers an accurate portrayal of the “broken welfare system.”

“[We look for] someone who fights like hell, against all odds, to reach a goal. It’s usually a title reserved for superheroes. But I found a hero in Stephanie Land’s memoir, Maid.”

Keen to do Land’s story justice, Metzler had the memoirist and her daughter, Story, flown out to meet with the creative team and share more about their personal experiences, including what they’ve learned since the book was published about others who are trying to survive poverty and economic injustice.

Andie MacDowell in Maid
Andie MacDowell stars in Maid as Paula, Alex’s nomadic mother who’s struggling to contend with unaddressed psychological demons of her own.

Metzler continues: “A riveting account of a single mother who leaves an abusive relationship and finds herself broke and homeless, Maid is a story about back-breaking hard work and the power of a mother’s love… [and, as it is] told entirely through Alex’s unfiltered and often funny POV, you’re with this inspiring underdog for every moment.

“Every humiliation, heartbreak, triumph, and toilet brush.”

It is worth noting that, once the series wrapped filming, Metzler had wardrobe and set decorations donated to multiple organisations – including the Women In Need Society, Y Young Moms Program, and the Salvation Army – throughout Victoria, Canada.

Maid promises to be every bit as uplifting as it is thought-provoking.

Elsewhere, Land, who serves as an executive producer, has poured praise upon the TV adaptation of her memoir.

“I wrote a book so people who struggle to get by could see themselves represented in an authentic way, and they could feel less alone,” she says in an official statement.

Maid, the series on Netflix that was inspired by my book, continues that legacy in ways that absolutely blow my mind.”

When and how can we watch Maid?

All 10 episodes of Maid are available for streaming via Netflix as of 1 October.

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Images: Netflix

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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