Read Time:4 Minute, 18 Second
“Maid.” In the middle of the night, a young woman grabs her daughter and runs off, using the gas canister in her car to escape her abusive partner.
Maid Season 1: Review
That’s how “Maid,” a new drama on Netflix, begins, as Margaret Qualley’s Alex runs away from her daughter’s father (Nick Robinson). Alex, the daughter (Rylea Nevaeh Whittet), gets a house-cleaning job, but not enough hours to free up her financial, unlimited child care challenges, legal system, and impossible housing market means Robinson’s Sean enters and exits her life.
The “girl” is completely out of touch with nature – the show is not ashamed to use a visual metaphor that has sometimes been heated to convey grief that we already understand is a real challenge, and some of the games and debates are very intense.
But the series often has the sheer modesty and seriousness of purpose when it comes to playing how Alex’s story could have unfolded, from a closed-battle battle to a violent domestic shelter. The figure that works in the upper right corner of the screen comes at times of great financial stress, such as when Alex uses his uniform for housework to start at the back.
Qualley, a compelling and sharp player, can lead viewers anywhere. Audiences who know better as an ephemeral hippie from “Once upon a Time in Hollywood” may wonder how they can best relate to stress; disagreement about Sean, who appears occasionally to Alex about to change his ways; and in-depth strategies. When he has small bandwidth, Alex, the aspiring writer, tries to write himself out of his situation, and Qualley does a good job of showing us Alex’s visual power, as well as the rotating gears in the author’s mind.
Alex feels as real as the situation he is trapped in – and Qualley is helpful in writing a clear account of Alex’s life: “Maid” based on Stephanie Land’s memory of her time as a domestic worker. (The show is produced by playwright Molly Smith Metzler and is featured between their EPs John Wells and Margot Robbie.)
Stupidity takes to portray a very bad situation can fall apart, however: the “Maid’s” dialogue often focuses on brutality. Alex’s supervisor (Tracy Vilar) is often asked to simply explain the poles of the episode he was given, and one of the housekeepers (Anika Noni Rose) points out her class status with this tough pick-up line: “Last week, I was eating arugula in my corner office! ”
Working saves both of these signs: Vilar, who has not been given much to play for, finds on the edge a tough but totally insensitive employer who is forced to look after himself first. Rose, whose flamboyant character has become a major source of support and empathy for Alex, finds someone among the treasurers. And Robinson, formerly prominent in FX’s “A Teacher,” caused an accident to Sean doles when he felt revenge.
What’s wrong with Andie MacDowell as Alex’s mother, a space-conscious and troubled artist Alex can rely on. MacDowell, Qualley’s real mother and a strong athlete at the best of times, can’t really sell “oddball,” and her presence – often referring to the richness and high quality of Alex’s “bloodline” and “ancestor” that other characters around her ignore – raises “Maid” questions. is not willing to respond. Among them: With the inclusion of a white girl who works mainly for a wealthy black client, does this series reduce the most important questions about class and racial conflicts in this country?
The MacDowell character is important in the backstory of the “Maid”, in which Alex is trapped not only by his economic circumstances but by patterns of generational abuse. So it is unfortunate that the show is only visible if you do not extract the unanswered facts by the power of Alex’s genealogy. That better show still has its flaws: While the “Maid’s” punitive period can be said to fully express the point that Alex’s survival drive must overcome unbearable blurring, it can be slowed down, and maybe an episode or two is too long.
And Alex’s path to freedom can sometimes depend on characters who have amazing heart changes that they can only feel by telling stories. Also, free reading is helpful – the show seems to tell us how much luck breaks a person in Alex’s situation. But it also seems that sometimes we withhold information in a way that sounds like flawed storytelling and is like a failure.
But this is Qualley’s show, and her performance supports us even if the show seems to revolve around its wheels. Qualley, as Alex’s condition fades into temporary, conditional safety, shows us what it’s like to have time and time to think after a long ban. Gradually he returns to him and presents himself to us as a character. The “slave” begins as a race for freedom. But it is in the course of the next few days of Alex’s life that we realize what a wonderful thing this is.
“Maid” will be aired on Netflix on Friday, October 1, 2021.
Related – The Circle Season 3: Who is The Winner?