Why everyone is watching the Margaret Qualley Netflix series and what it is

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You’d be forgiven for thinking that the only TV show everyone is watching right now is Squid game, the Korean thriller that quickly became the most-watched Netflix series of all time. But just behind on the streaming service’s graph is an entirely different – but no less brilliant – drama, Housemaid.

Margaret Qualley (Once upon a time … in Hollywood, My year Salinger) plays Alex, a young mother of three-year-old Maddy (Rylea Nevaeh Whittet), who runs away from her abusive boyfriend, Sean (Nick Robinson, Love, Simon), with no money and nowhere to go. Over the course of 10 episodes, we see her struggle to survive, anchored only by her low-paid job as a housekeeper and her fierce love for her daughter.

That the show be based on the lived experiences of Stephanie Land, author of Housekeeper: hard work, low wages and a mother’s will to survive, makes the story even more visceral and touching.

Watching Housemaid can be an anxiety-provoking experience. As Alex fuels her car, we see the $ 15 she left at her home dwindle until she can no longer afford to eat or stay. She spends the first night in her car, only to be woken up by a policeman who tells her to move.

Finally, she goes to social services, who tell her that she needs proof of work to obtain housing; unemployed, Alex is homeless, but she cannot afford the child care she needs to work. This is just one of the many frustrating situations in catch-22 Housemaid presents skillfully and with quiet rage.

Leaving his daughter with his unreliable, self-centered artist mother (a brilliant trick from Andie MacDowell), Alex goes to a cleaning company with high turnover to find out if they have any shifts.

A silver lining comes when she learns that there is a house – although it looks more like a mansion – on a nearby island that needs a weekly cleaning.

Alex gets a job as a cleaning lady when she leaves her abusive boyfriend (Photo: Ricardo Hubbs / Netflix)

It’s short-lived, however, as she soon learns that she has to provide all of her own supplies, pay for her own gasoline, and return the Dyson Company after every shift lest she be fined and possibly dismissed. As she walks around the store to buy bleach and sponges, we again watch in dismay as her money shrinks to next to nothing.

Housemaid excels at describing how difficult it is for a woman without a support system to leave an abusive relationship. Along with the money and child care, Alex also has to worry about Sean finding them and claiming custody of their baby. She is also ashamed of her situation, refusing to share the full extent of her problems with her parents or friends.

Domestic violence in the media is often characterized by physical violence, but one of the HousemaidIts greatest strength is its focus on other types of abuse.

Alex is not sure that manipulating and assaulting her boyfriend amounted to domestic violence, but almost everyone she shares with the idea that she is a victim and that she did what it was necessary when leaving. It is a refreshing and important message.

At the center of Maid is Alex’s love for his daughter, Maddy (Photo: Ricardo Hubbs / Netflix)

It is Qualley’s outstanding central performance that makes Housemaid TV not to be missed. Her portrayal of Alex is often sweet and hopelessly harmless, which makes her moments of strength – whether silent (leaving her boyfriend behind) or loud (demanding the wealthy owner of the house to clean up to pay the money. due to him) – all the more brilliant.

It’s an emotional and complex performance that is sure to grab some attention this awards season.

It might not have the same bloody chills as a mega-hit Squid game, corn Housemaid is a visceral and heartbreaking drama about the real struggles of poverty and motherhood. It’s not an easy watch, but it’s well worth your time.

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