Is Netflix’s ‘Maid’ Based on a True Story?

Netflix has undoubtedly moved into the impressive position of bringing original content that captivates audiences through both films and series. The upcoming series Maid has fans talking, and the trailer makes it look to be a gripping and gritty take on poverty and the status of the working class

The trailer proclaims that the series is based on a best-selling book, but it is a true story? 

‘Maid’ will showcase a single mother’s struggle

There have been plenty of TV shows and films that have attempted to capture the real-life of people who often slip under the radar. We’ve seen films like Nomadland and TV shows like Ozark take viewers out of the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and into the grittier reality of America’s “flyover country.” Along the way, they are often introduced to characters who are struggling to make ends meet, faced with an economy that leaves them barely scraping by no matter how hard they work. 

This is definitely part of the story of Maid, the Netflix series that provides a close look at young single mom Alex as she attempts to piece together a living with low-wage housekeeping labor. Along the way, viewers will see her struggles and recognize that the odds were always stacked against her in a system that devalues her work and the work of so many people who keep the world running without adequate recognition. 

‘Maid’ is based on a best-selling book 

The series’ source material is a highly acclaimed memoir from Stephanie Land. In 2019, she published Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive. Land was 28 with a plan to head to college and a better life when she became unexpectedly pregnant from a summer fling. This throws her plans into disarray, and soon she’s trying to raise a child, take college classes, and piece together enough money to live by stepping into the homes of the upper-middle class to serve as a housekeeper. 

Along the way, Land discovers a lot about her clients. As a “nameless ghost,” she’s privy to intimate details about their lives and their homes, and she starts to see more and more of the underbelly of this life of luxury. Meanwhile, as Deadline reports, “Alex’s reality consists of tiresome days polishing mansions from top-to-bottom, relying on assistance programs like S.N.A.P. to provide for her family and struggles just to survive.” The juxtaposition of these vastly different realities paints a picture of stark (and often hidden) divides in the American experience. 

‘Maid’ will premiere on Netflix soon

The first episode of Maid will drop on Netflix on October 1. The cast includes Margaret Qualley as the protagonist, though her name has been changed to Alex. Andie MacDowell, Billy Burke, Anika Noni Rose, and Nick Robinson all have major roles, showing up in all 10 episodes. Young newcomer Rylea Nevaeh Whittet will have her first acting role as Maddy, Alex’s daughter. 

Creator Molly Smith Metzler, who adapted the book for the screen, is no stranger to gritty looks at impoverished living situations. She served as a writer for Shameless and will no doubt put some of those experiences to work here. While it remains to be seen if the tone of Maid will offer some moments of levity the way Shameless does, the promos definitely suggest a very dark peek behind the scenes of the lives we often overlook.

The show is produced, in part, by LuckyChap Entertainment, Margot Robbie’s production company, which was behind the hits Promising Young Woman and I, Tonya. This mix of experienced cast and creators has made Maid a promising new series that many are eager to see get underway. 

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