Netflix Miniseries Is The Best Kept Heart-Wrenching Secret On Streaming

By Shanna Mathews-Mendez | Published

Maid on Netflix is one of the most emotional limited series I’ve seen in a long time… maybe ever. It’s also incredibly uplifting and empowering. So, if you’ve got Netflix fired up, binge this show over the weekend. Just be sure to keep your tissues handy. 

Based On A True Story

Maid premiered on Netflix in October of 2021 and grew to be the fourth most-watched show of the year. It also received tremendous critical acclaim for the acting performances, and it was named one of the ten best television programs for the year. It’s that good.

What makes this series even more interesting is the fact that it’s based on a memoir, Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive, by Stephanie Land. This show that’s keeping us all so entertained is based on a woman’s actual life experiences. 

A Mom Starting Over

Maid on Netflix opens up with a young mother, Alex, leaving her boyfriend, Sean, in the middle of the night with her two-year-old daughter, Maddy, in her arms. Margaret Qualley, who plays Alex, can bring a fresh, naive, and yet already embattled tone to her character as she flees the trailer as quietly as she can, only to find herself and her daughter sleeping in the car with only a few dollars to their name. And this is only the beginning of Alex’s story. 

Struggling To Rebuild

The next morning, Alex goes to see a social worker to try to get housing for herself and Maddy. The problem, as the social worker tells her, is that she doesn’t have a job. Of course, Sean didn’t want Alex to work. Sean controlled all the money, all the time, and all of Alex and Maddy’s activities.

Only now does Alex discover what a disadvantage this puts her at as she tries to begin a new life. Alex accepts a job as a maid at Value Maids, which doesn’t pay much, and sends their cleaners to houses all over the greater Seattle area.  

Real-Life Mother And Daughter

Maid, and by association Netflix, then has us follow Alex to see her mother, Paula (played brilliantly by Qualley’s real-life mom, Andie MacDowell), who’s a manic, artistic hippie living in a trailer with her younger boyfriend. Alex asks Paula for help watching Maddy while she works, who returns Maddy to Sean while Alex is on the job.

Alex then has to go get Maddy and flee again, only to wind up in a dramatic car crash. Alex calls her estranged father for help, who drops his daughter and granddaughter off at the ferry station, where they sleep on the floor. 

And this only captures the first episode of Maid on Netflix! From here, Alex repeatedly pulls herself and her daughter out of the dirt and cleans them up, only to fall in the dirt again.

The World Against Her

It seems like she’s got the world against her, including her own wacky parents, and Social Services does little to make the situation better. What makes this story increasingly troubling is that Sean is not really physically abusive to Alex — it’s emotional, mental, and verbal. These types of abuse are oppressing and defeating for the victim, but they’re almost impossible to prove. 

Streaming Only On Netflix


Margaret Qualley does such a great job of showing the full range of frustrations, joys, miseries, and depressions that Alex goes through trying to survive with her daughter. At one point, when Alex goes back to Sean out of a sense of defeat, you feel her pain so deeply as she descends into a world of sheer madness.

I can’t say I’ve ever seen another show like it, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Stream Maid on Netflix now.