Editor’s note: The Netflix original series Maid debuted on Netflix this week and it seems like everyone is talking about it. The show follows Alex, a struggling single mom, and the many obstacles she encounters as she works to create a better, safer life. The show is based on the memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive by Stephanie Land

Here are 10 reasons to binge Maid on Netflix today: 

1. The “gray” characters. Not black or white. Not good or bad. Just in-between. Like all of us. The show captures their “humanness” so perfectly.

2. “Is this abuse?” is a question this show answers so poetically. Sometimes abuse isn’t a black eye. Sometimes it’s manipulation or belittlement or keeping someone “small.” Emotional/financial abuse is a thing, and this show brings it to the forefront.

3. The visual representation of how everything FEELS. Ugh. My heart. When she literally melts into the couch at the brink of depression. Never seen anything like it.

4. How it puts a face to those on government assistance. Alex (played by Margaret Qualley) goes through seven types of government assistance in the show, and every single one is very much needed. She is not abusing the system—instead, the system is failing her.

5. The fact that it’s based on a true story . . . and exemplifies the REAL LIFE story of hundreds of thousands of people living in this never-ending cycle. It’s a show every parent, every employer, EVERYONE needs to see when deciding how to treat someone before knowing what they’re going through at home.

6. It’s hard to watch in the best way possible. It makes you uncomfortable about things that should make you uncomfortable.

7. There’s a running tally of her bank account on the screen, and we see her funds go up/down/up/down. This isn’t a linear story, but rather a realistic rollercoaster. (And the show has a ton of quirky methods to SHOW you that.)

8. It’s the story of a mom’s unwillingness to let her daughter grow up in the same situation that she did. Breaking a generational curse.

9. Alex is the hero of her own story. Not her partner. Or her parents. Not the government. She can’t trust most people around her, which is a sad reality for so many. Instead, she makes a way for herself and her daughter.

10. It’s just a dang good show. I immediately went out and bought the book, looked up everything about the author, and restarted episode one. I can’t shake it, and I want to tell everyone about it. 

You can stream Maid on Netflix (subscription required) here.  

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

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Whitney Ballard

Whitney Ballard is a writer and mom advocate from small town Alabama. She owns the Trains and Tantrums blog, where she writes about motherhood, marriage, mental health, and more. Whitney went from becoming a mom at sixteen to holing a Master’s degree; she writes about that journey, along with daily life, through a Christian lens. When she’s not writing while on her porch swing or cheering/yelling at the ballpark, you’ll find her in the backyard with her husband, two boys, and two dogs.