Starring Margaret Qualley as Alex, Maid is quickly becoming another Netflix phenomenon. Picking up viewership for its heartfelt retelling of Stephanie Land’s book Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother’s Will to Survive, the series is destined to be a smash hit.
But exactly how much of the fascinating tale is based on true events? Since its release last month, the Qualley-led series has been gaining huge critical attention, as it sees Alex struggle through poverty in modern America, living hand to mouth and taking any work she can get as she escapes an abusive relationship.
The series was based on the memoir of Stephanie Land. Much of the chastening scenes w witness both in the book and the series have come directly from the life of Land who witnessed, first hand, the brutality of making ends meet.
Land herself struggled while working as a maid for an exploitative cleaning service. Having escaped her perilous relationship she was forced to abscond with her child and seek a safer if poorer future. Land eventually made her way to Montana’s Creative Writing programme where she found her hidden talent.
Much of Alex’s story is based on what Stephanie went through herself. She also struggled to make ends meet after escaping an abusive relationship with her child, and became a maid before working her way to Montana’s Creative Writing program. Considering the subject matter, the show has been kept as close to true events as possible.
Showrunner Molly Smith Metzler told Decider: “One of the things I’m very proud of about the show is that I think it’s emotionally very true to the memoir… There’s characters and big storylines that aren’t in the memoir, but I think emotionally, the show is telling a similar story to the book in that we are both chasing the same ending and chasing the same message.
“I will say, when you sign on to adapt something like this just as a writer, a screenwriter, I think the big thing to look at is you don’t work for the book, right? You work for an audience, and so that part of it is really freeing and fun and also really challenging.”
She added: “With Maid, I did a ton of research. I read the book eight times. I highlighted the passages that had an emotional effect on me. And then you have to put all that aside and say, ‘How do I make this its own thing, its own entertainment? How do I make sure my cousin in Ohio has to watch this show?’ So it’s a really fun job to try to translate it.”
We can confirm that Metzler certainly pulled it off. Maid is a classic show that provides an insightful if harrowing, view of what some mothers escaping harm have to endure.