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Maid 

click to enlarge A MOTHER'S LOVE After escaping an abusive relationship, Alex (Margaret Qualley) finds work as a domestic in an effort to create a better life for her daughter, Maddie (Rylea Nevaeh Whittet), in Maid, a TV miniseries screening on Netflix. - PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN WELLS PRODUCTIONS
  • Photo Courtesy Of John Wells Productions
  • A MOTHER'S LOVE After escaping an abusive relationship, Alex (Margaret Qualley) finds work as a domestic in an effort to create a better life for her daughter, Maddie (Rylea Nevaeh Whittet), in Maid, a TV miniseries screening on Netflix.

What's it rated? TV-MA

When? 2021

Where's it showing? Netflix

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Alex's (Margaret Qualley) life is pretty bleak. She's a young mother in an emotionally—and on the verge of physically—abusive relationship. Her 2 1/2-year-old daughter Maddie (Rylea Nevaeh Whittet) is adorable and well loved, but Alex feels deeply that she isn't giving her daughter the life she wants for her. When she finally flees from her alcoholic boyfriend, Sean (Nick Robinson), she has no choice but to go to a domestic violence shelter.

With no money and no support system, Alex starts to navigate the world of government assistance, job finding, and securing a quality education for Maddie. Her mother, Paula (Andie MacDowell, Qualley's real-life mother), is a manic artist who has been trapped in chronic abusive relationships her whole life, including with Alex's father, Hank (Billy Burke). Paula refuses meds and conventional living, and when her inattention and addictions lead to her losing her house, Alex is left trying to hold together the pieces for everyone. She finds work as a part-time house cleaner for rich, entitled strangers who pay her little and demand the unattainable.

In this world of sorting and cleaning, Alex discovers her lost voice as a writer, which turns out to be a monumental path in her therapy toward recovery and growth. While I was left at the end of each episode almost begging for Alex to catch a break, despite a lot of misery there is also hope here. It is a story worth telling and one that strikes at the heart of a scenario that happens day after day after day, and a glimpse at the reality of abuse cycles, trauma, and what it actually means to work through it. This is a limited series, and if you don't mind a dose of melancholy while you root for a win, it is totally worth a watch. (10 55-min. episodes)

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