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Alex got a scholarship at the writing school, which should minimize her loans. Ignoring the fact this is based on a true story, even if Alex never became a successful writers whose book was recommended by Obama and turned into a Netflix limited series, she could have easily parlayed her creative writing degree towards teaching, the law, or getting her masters and PhD in creative writing (and combine it with social work, her thesis being using creative writing to help women coming from abused homes). Just because one is poor should not prevent them from pursuing a “useless” degree like a rich kid or middle class kid (hey, me!) as long as they are passionate about it. 

It is interesting how she never had a credit card. Now that she is going to college, she will very easily be able to get a credit card.

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‘Maid’ Cleans Up With Estimated 67M Netflix Households, On Track To Beat ‘The Queen’s Gambit’

MAID_101_Unit_01174R.jpg?w=681&h=383&cro

Maid is on track to beat The Queen’s Gambit as Netflix’s most-watched limited scripted series. The series launched October 1 and if it hits its estimates across its first 28 days, it would make it tied for fifth place in terms of most-watched Netflix originals alongside Sex/Life and the third season of Stranger Things. The drama is projected to be watched by 67 million households.

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16 hours ago, memememe76 said:

Alex got a scholarship at the writing school, which should minimize her loans. Ignoring the fact this is based on a true story, even if Alex never became a successful writers whose book was recommended by Obama and turned into a Netflix limited series, she could have easily parlayed her creative writing degree towards teaching, the law, or getting her masters and PhD in creative writing (and combine it with social work, her thesis being using creative writing to help women coming from abused homes). Just because one is poor should not prevent them from pursuing a “useless” degree like a rich kid or middle class kid (hey, me!) as long as they are passionate about it. 

It is interesting how she never had a credit card. Now that she is going to college, she will very easily be able to get a credit card.

Yes. There is no reason for Alex not to get a degree in whatever she wants to do.  For one thing, an undergraduate degree is sort of just proof to an employer that 1) you had the commitment to finish, 2) you've been taught basic critical thinking skills, and 3) you are sufficiently competent in general education subjects like math and writing.

The truth is that, for most people not seeking an advanced degree in a particular subject or in the physical sciences, there is a very good chance that it will never be relevant what your bachelors degree was in the second you get your first post-college job.  Hell, my undergrad degree was Radio, Television, and Film with a Theatre minor and I'm a lawyer. 

College is mostly about learning how to learn (in a way we don't really bother with in K-12education - but we should).  And that has value both personally and professionally. 

Edited by RachelKM
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After episode 5, I bailed. Alex is the single mom of a three-year-old.  Rumor has it that the old lady whose house they were cleaning, has a son who hasn’t been seen in years.  She had the bright idea to go looking for him, not knowing whether he has a gun or a knife or both.  If harm were to come to her, she doesn’t have anyone reliable to take care of her child.  So, can’t help but wonder why she’d do something so foolish.

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On 10/6/2021 at 8:41 AM, endure said:

For me the biggest issue it covers is domestic violence.  There has been so much lately right in my area lately as well as in the media and we need to start showing it more in the various forms, it is happening too much.  The show so far, I’m  four episodes in is well acted and portrayed.  Not sure I can continue to read on here as I don’t like this all in one episode format, as I will surely be spoiled.

Hate this format also. 

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5 hours ago, chediavolo said:
On 10/6/2021 at 8:41 AM, endure said:

Not sure I can continue to read on here as I don’t like this all in one episode format, as I will surely be spoiled.

Hate this format also. 

It is OK for shows that are not very popular, since it can be created by anyone in the forum. Shows with multiple threads need to be created by moderators. When I created the thread, I had no idea this show would be as popular as it is. If it gets a second season, I will petition for multiple threads for the second season since this show thread already has over 3K views. Squid Games is also a single thread that has over 6K views.

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24 minutes ago, AnimeMania said:

It is OK for shows that are not very popular, since it can be created by anyone in the forum. Shows with multiple threads need to be created by moderators. When I created the thread, I had no idea this show would be as popular as it is. If it gets a second season, I will petition for multiple threads for the second season since this show thread already has over 3K views. Squid Games is also a single thread that has over 6K views.

Sorry I was in no way blaming you for the format, i just don’t like being spoiled so avoid this type.   I hope there isn’t a second season, and I thought it was promoted as a limited series.  I can’t see any reason to continue as the series was excellent IMO and was pretty much a wrap.

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On 10/20/2021 at 1:04 PM, AnimeMania said:

‘Maid’ Cleans Up With Estimated 67M Netflix Households, On Track To Beat ‘The Queen’s Gambit’

MAID_101_Unit_01174R.jpg?w=681&h=383&cro

Maid is on track to beat The Queen’s Gambit as Netflix’s most-watched limited scripted series. The series launched October 1 and if it hits its estimates across its first 28 days, it would make it tied for fifth place in terms of most-watched Netflix originals alongside Sex/Life and the third season of Stranger Things. The drama is projected to be watched by 67 million households.

Maid is no Queens Gambit.  

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On 10/18/2021 at 10:42 PM, Brn2bwild said:

My jaw dropped when he accepted a beer from Sean.  I guess he told himself that drinking weak beer "isn't really drinking."  There's a men's rights air to that father, the way he seemed to side with Sean against his own daughter, and kept insisting that Sean attend an AA meeting in order to unleash his resentment against her.    

That Was an O’Douls Non alcoholic beer. 

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Finished this last night and (as someone said upthread) I'm still trying to process it. I agree with all the praise for this series--writing, acting, direction, and the way it sheds light on issues such as poverty and emotional abuse that people who have not experienced these things need to understand. Like some commenters here (and probably many viewers), I was angry at some bad choices that Alex made--yelling "No, no" and "Why would you do that?" etc. at the screen--and I was also conflicted in my feelings about Sean, who seemed like a basically decent guy with an alcohol problem, until the episode where he went full-on abusive controller when her father was having dinner with them. But I am realizing now that my reactions were in large part influenced by my life experience from decades ago, and thinking about that experience now gives me a different perspective on the characters. Warning: TMI ahead, but it may be useful to those who are questioning why Alex did or did not do certain things that could have helped her situation.

So when I was 20 and halfway through college in 1970, I made the mistake of getting married, mainly because I was afraid no one else would ever ask me. (Keep in mind this was early in the "second wave" of feminism, and my consciousness had not yet been raised to realize there was more to life than finding a husband.) I met him in the summer between sophomore and junior years when I came home and he was working as a bartender in my parents' business. During that time there were no warning signs that he was anything but a nice guy, but I did not really love him and did not plan to marry him initially. I went back to college (3 hours away) in the fall, but he eventually convinced me to come home at the end of the semester and to get married in the spring. (I dropped out of college then but, luckily, was able to transfer to a local school to finish my degree 2 years later.) After marriage, it gradually became clear that he was a problem drinker, and when he was drunk he would do terrible things. He "only" hit me once (and it was more humiliating than painful), but he threw a kitten I was taking care of against a wall, and one morning I came down from our apartment (which was above my family's bar where he worked) to find him in bed with some woman who was a regular at the bar (possibly a prostitute) in the storage area. Another time he was arrested for rape of a woman who lived in an apartment near the bar; the charges were dropped but I don't know to this day whether he really did it.

The point is, I did not leave him after any of these events. I was a smart, college-educated young woman from a good family who (1) thought I could change him, (2) did not want my family and friends to know about my situation, and (3) was in denial about whether this was "really" abuse or just behavior I could blame on alcohol. When he decided to move from NJ to upstate NY, I stayed in NJ for a few months with the excuse that I couldn't quit my job right away, but really I was considering it a trial separation. Eventually he convinced me to come to NY, and things got worse after that since I felt isolated (I was now 8 hours from my family). This was also a time when it was still difficult for women to be financially independent (even though I was working full-time, the only credit card I could get initially was a store card), so in that way the situation was comparable to Alex's financial situation. I could have asked for help from my parents, but did not want to for the reasons given above and because I did not want to admit to my mother (with whom I had a difficult relationship) that she was right and I had made a mistake. It never occurred to me to go to a domestic violence shelter (if I even knew about such things at the time). Two events finally convinced me to leave 5 years after we married: (1) he disappeared on a 3-day bender, and he was still drunk when I found him in a barn outside of town; (2) I had a pregnancy scare--I had been on the pill for 5 years and the gynecologist said I had to take a break. Luckily, I was not pregnant, but I realized that if I had a child I would probably never be able to leave. So even though he was still a "nice" guy (when he wasn't drunk) who loved me, I moved to another state, filed for divorce, and began a new life. I can only imagine how much more difficult it would have been to do this if we had a child. 

The other thing we need to remember when reacting to the bad choices that Alex made is that she was young (I think early 20s?) and without much "normal" life experience. It's easy for me now to look back at mistakes I made before and during that first marriage (or even in more recent decades with my daughter from my second marriage) and see what I could have done differently, but emotionally I was not able to do the "right" thing at the time.     

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17 hours ago, chediavolo said:

That Was an O’Douls Non alcoholic beer. 

I read that later, but couldn't amend the post.  I guess I don't know my beers, including the non-alcoholic ones.

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8 hours ago, Brn2bwild said:
On 10/25/2021 at 6:42 AM, chediavolo said:

That Was an O’Douls Non alcoholic beer. 

I read that later, but couldn't amend the post.  I guess I don't know my beers, including the non-alcoholic ones.

I also thought it was alcohol, but my husband knew it was O'Douls and non-alcoholic. But I'm pretty sure that the rest of the time (except for his brief period of sobriety) Sean was drinking alcoholic beer.

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While Nate had no business asking Alex if she slept with Sean (although I understand why he'd want to know), he was totally within his right to ask why she didn't contact him when she stayed out all night. Not for his sake, but for her child. If my houseguest left for the vending and left their child in my care - and then didn't come home at all that night and didn't text me, I'd be pissed. Aside from worrying about her, it's pretty ballsy to just assume you can leave your child all night with someone without checking first. 

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9 minutes ago, Shermie said:

he was totally within his right to ask why she didn't contact him when she stayed out all night. Not for his sake, but for her child. If my houseguest left for the vending and left their child in my care - and then didn't come home at all that night and didn't text me, I'd be pissed. Aside from worrying about her, it's pretty ballsy to just assume you can leave your child all night with someone without checking first. 

Not just because it's ballsy, but because there could be serious consequences if the child got sick or was hurt and he couldn't contact the parent. Not only doesn't he know the child's medical history, he might not be able to authorize treatment (though I assume she could get at least emergency treatment without authorization). Although it's understandable that Alex did not contact him while she was caught up in her mother's emergency, her not contacting him after leaving her mother to be treated and then going home with Sean was a big mistake. 

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I agree that it was irresponsible not to communicate with the person with whom she'd left her child, but that's not what Nate seemed to be upset about. He was much more focused on her sleeping with Sean and whether that meant that they were getting back together.

 

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I was a maid in my late teens at a ski resort and know personally how people can see right through you.  Either you were looked down on, looked through or looked at as a possible sexual amenity.  I wish I could say the looked through was only limited to my time as a maid.  I shared an apartment with a fellow maid.  I know the feeling of the rapidly dwindling paycheck and subsequent starving.  We lost the apartment when we couldn't pay all the rent and life's expenses took over - broken down cars, medical bills, mooching stealing guests etc.  Luckily I was able to move home and did not have a kid to worry about.  My roommate got pregnant and moved back in with her mom.  I left the state to go to college shortly after that.

As for Alex's missteps you have to remember she is living in survival mode and survival mode is very short sighted like within inches short sighted.  There is also the naivety of youth and she never had anyone give her the benefit of their wisdom. 

Alex told Nate she felt like charity and can't be in a relationship with him.  You have to feel you have some equal footing in a relationship.

This definitely was a punch in the gut feeling of memories however I binged the whole series this weekend.  A solid well acted series.

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6 hours ago, mytmo said:

This definitely was a punch in the gut feeling of memories

Same here, except that for me the punch came toward the end of the series and after I finished, as I started feeling almost haunted by it but was confused about why it had such an impact. I gradually realized that even though I've never forgotten what happened in my first marriage, after all these decades I thought I had put that experience far behind me and that it no longer had the power to upset me. The series brought back the memories and feelings more intensely. 

6 hours ago, mytmo said:

I was a maid in my late teens at a ski resort and know personally how people can see right through you.  Either you were looked down on, looked through or looked at as a possible sexual amenity. 

I experienced this to a lesser extent when I worked as a waitress throughout my teens. Although some people connected with me on a friendly and personal basis, there were definitely people who just saw a server. And, of course, men who thought it was a compliment to make sexual comments.

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Just finished this series.  I may be the only male on this thread.  But the dad, what a  clown. When Sean gets in Alex's face and practically demands she sits down to eat and the dad sits there and says nada.  Not even a 'Hey, ease up on her'  And the fact felt comfortable enough to talk to Alex like that IN FRONT OF her father.  No adult in her immediate circle ever had her back.  

I thought it was odd for Alex to keep going back to rescue her mother time after time, but Alex probably saw her future self in Paula.  A homeless woman with a fractured relationship w/ her daughter getting used by men

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11 hours ago, Kirkydee said:

I thought it was odd for Alex to keep going back to rescue her mother time after time, but Alex probably saw her future self in Paula.  A homeless woman with a fractured relationship w/ her daughter getting used by men

Interesting idea, though I think a lot of it was the dynamic that develops in many parent-child relationships where the parent is dysfunctional and/or physically or mentally ill to the degree that he or she can't really parent. So from an early age the child learns to take care of that parent, especially if the other parent is not present to help. And the child, even as an adult, feels guilty if he or she (usually she) doesn't do what the parent needs or wants. 

Also, it is very hard to let go of the desire to have a normal parent-child relationship and the guilt for not being able to make that happen, even when your parent is dysfunctional and toxic. 

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I haven’t finished it all but I was getting the impression Alex was sexually or physically abused by her father which may have been why he was so unfazed by Sean’s treatment of her. She also didn’t want her daughter to be left alone with him either. 

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6 hours ago, Kiss my mutt said:

I haven’t finished it all but I was getting the impression Alex was sexually or physically abused by her father which may have been why he was so unfazed by Sean’s treatment of her. She also didn’t want her daughter to be left alone with him either. 

Spoiler

About half-way through the season, Alex remembers an incident from her childhood when her father physically abused her mother (presumably while drunk). We never see him abuse Alex though. 

 

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Netflix’s Maid took a big jump in the streaming rankings for Oct. 4-10, more than doubled its viewing time from the previous week and climbed to second place behind Squid Game with 1.9 billion minutes of viewing time.

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26 minutes ago, AnimeMania said:

Netflix’s Maid took a big jump in the streaming rankings for Oct. 4-10, more than doubled its viewing time from the previous week and climbed to second place behind Squid Game with 1.9 billion minutes of viewing time.

Are the 1.9B minutes cumulative since it premiered, or just from Oct. 4-10? Assuming that everyone who watched it watched the entire season, 1.9B minutes means that the season was streamed about 3.2M times.

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Just now, chocolatine said:

Are the 1.9B minutes cumulative since it premiered, or just from Oct. 4-10? Assuming that everyone who watched it watched the entire season, 1.9B minutes means that the season was streamed about 3.2M times.

I think it is for that week.

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On 10/18/2021 at 11:30 PM, memememe76 said:

I was under the impression that those in AA were supposed to apologize to those they hurt. It is interesting the father never reached out to Paula or Alex. Even Sean apologized (although one could argue whether he meant it or not).

My deadbeat father is a "Christian" but has never once made any amends to my mother or my sisters and me for all of his abuse.

I have so much to say about this series, but I'm wrecked right now. I had watched episodes one through four over the past few weeks and just binged the rest through the night last night.

So, so much of this series rang so true for me.

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I loved this series and was absolutely blown away by the acting, particularly Margaret Qualley and Nick Robinson.  What range and so different from what each of them has been in before.  It took me eight episodes to realize who Nick Robinson even was (although, maybe I have issues, because my 13 year old walked in for three seconds and said "hey is that Love Simon?!" LOL).

I found the character of Alex's dad infuriating.  Yes, he was sober, but it seems to me he only rejected, blocked and compartmentalized his "first family" and never made amends or acknowledged how he treated them.  He got to write the narrative because of the mental illness of his "crazy ex," even though he was arguably still just as broken but replacing alcohol addiction with religious fervor is more socially acceptable.

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1 hour ago, janey99 said:

I found the character of Alex's dad infuriating.  Yes, he was sober, but it seems to me he only rejected, blocked and compartmentalized his "first family" and never made amends or acknowledged how he treated them.  He got to write the narrative because of the mental illness of his "crazy ex," even though he was arguably still just as broken but replacing alcohol addiction with religious fervor is more socially acceptable.

I also found his refusal to acknowledge how he treated Alex infuriating, although I guess he thought that helping move furniture and allowing her to stay with his new family for a while made up for the past. I love your phrase "He got to write the narrative"--that's so true in many abusive relationships, not just those where the woman is actually mentally ill. Society is all too ready to label women who get angry or overly emotional as unstable and to assign disproportionate blame for relationship problems, even when the man is abusive (as a recent example, see the Gabby Petito case and the judgments that the police made when there was an "altercation" shortly before her fiance murdered her).

I didn't get the impression that Alex's father was full of religious fervor. It seemed to be more about his wife being religious and he went along with it as a way to have a "normal" family life and to stay sober.  

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I know the possibility of Alex being a live-in nanny was brought up at one point in the series when the rich woman said she wanted to hire one, but that would have made way more sense than her being a maid. She made like $30 a day cleaning houses and could have made way more as a nanny and it also would have given her and her daughter a place to live. One thing I couldn't understand was why being a cleaning lady was her only option, especially since she was willing to do it for free so often or stay past the amount of hours someone was willing to pay her for (meaning that apparently the amount of time working was not the problem.) I mean, I think at that point from what Value Maids was paying her, she would have gotten more money working retail. Did they explain this?

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1 hour ago, Jax7917 said:

I know the possibility of Alex being a live-in nanny was brought up at one point in the series when the rich woman said she wanted to hire one, but that would have made way more sense than her being a maid. She made like $30 a day cleaning houses and could have made way more as a nanny and it also would have given her and her daughter a place to live. One thing I couldn't understand was why being a cleaning lady was her only option, especially since she was willing to do it for free so often or stay past the amount of hours someone was willing to pay her for (meaning that apparently the amount of time working was not the problem.) I mean, I think at that point from what Value Maids was paying her, she would have gotten more money working retail. Did they explain this?

I don't remember any explanation of why working as a maid was her only option, but getting a nanny job is probably not easy for someone with no previous paid child care experience (taking care of your own child does not count). And I doubt that most people looking for nannies would like the idea of the nanny also having her own child to live there and be taken care of along with the employer's child or children. I never tried to hire a nanny, but I live in an area with a lot of of high-income two-career families, and I've read articles about the expectations they have for a nanny's qualifications in terms of education and experience--unfortunately, Alex would not meet most of them.

The more practical reason that Alex worked as a maid, at least initially, is that she urgently needed to get a job and a first paycheck so she could qualify for child care (a catch-22). Maybe, if her life was not so chaotic, she could have looked for another job once she got the child care and had temporary housing. She had waitressing experience, so I don't know why she couldn't have looked for a daytime waitressing job, as one example.

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1 hour ago, Paloma said:

I don't remember any explanation of why working as a maid was her only option, but getting a nanny job is probably not easy for someone with no previous paid child care experience (taking care of your own child does not count). And I doubt that most people looking for nannies would like the idea of the nanny also having her own child to live there and be taken care of along with the employer's child or children.

Not to mention, Alex had just recently lost custody of her own child, and was ordered by the court to take parenting classes in order to regain it. The audience knows that there were extenuating circumstances, but on paper she's not a suitable candidate for childcare jobs.

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3 hours ago, chocolatine said:
5 hours ago, Paloma said:

I don't remember any explanation of why working as a maid was her only option, but getting a nanny job is probably not easy for someone with no previous paid child care experience (taking care of your own child does not count). And I doubt that most people looking for nannies would like the idea of the nanny also having her own child to live there and be taken care of along with the employer's child or children.

Not to mention, Alex had just recently lost custody of her own child, and was ordered by the court to take parenting classes in order to regain it. The audience knows that there were extenuating circumstances, but on paper she's not a suitable candidate for childcare jobs.

Great point, I had actually forgotten about that. That would almost definitely disqualify her from any kind of childcare job that checked background--not just nanny, but working in a daycare center or preschool.

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I think the reason she started working as a maid is because the social worker had connections with the owner of the maid company. It was a quick means to a paycheck. 

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On 11/9/2021 at 1:55 PM, Jax7917 said:

I know the possibility of Alex being a live-in nanny was brought up at one point in the series when the rich woman said she wanted to hire one, but that would have made way more sense than her being a maid. She made like $30 a day cleaning houses and could have made way more as a nanny and it also would have given her and her daughter a place to live. One thing I couldn't understand was why being a cleaning lady was her only option, especially since she was willing to do it for free so often or stay past the amount of hours someone was willing to pay her for (meaning that apparently the amount of time working was not the problem.) I mean, I think at that point from what Value Maids was paying her, she would have gotten more money working retail. Did they explain this?

Pretty good question about retail jobs.  Or fast food or any other entry level job with no experience/degree.  We see the Walmart when Paula uses the parking lot as a home.  I guess i can hand wave it for tv purposes to illustrate the only job the lowly abused single mom could get is cleaning up after others.  Similar to shows where the down on his luck man is a garbage collector

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6 hours ago, Kirkydee said:

Pretty good question about retail jobs.  Or fast food or any other entry level job with no experience/degree.  We see the Walmart when Paula uses the parking lot as a home.  I guess i can hand wave it for tv purposes to illustrate the only job the lowly abused single mom could get is cleaning up after others.  Similar to shows where the down on his luck man is a garbage collector

Yeah it would be one thing if she was making good money being a maid, but she was making horrible money AND had to buy her own cleaning supplies. And then when the woman fired her, she made it seem like being a maid was the only option so now she was just out of work and could only work again if she got her own clients.

Just work in retail. The hours are set, the rate you will be paid is set and she'll probably come out of it with more money than being a maid.

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45 minutes ago, Jax7917 said:

Yeah it would be one thing if she was making good money being a maid, but she was making horrible money AND had to buy her own cleaning supplies. And then when the woman fired her, she made it seem like being a maid was the only option so now she was just out of work and could only work again if she got her own clients.

Just work in retail. The hours are set, the rate you will be paid is set and she'll probably come out of it with more money than being a maid.

Alex was homeless with no fixed address, a legit retail job needs an address to start processing you as an employee.  She couldn't even get emergency housing until she had a paystub, because initially she rejected the idea that she was abused so she couldn't get DV housing.  She also had no childcare to leave Maddie with during usual retail business hours.  She went to the maid service because the social worker (?) had an in with the business owner and knew she could get a few dollars and a paystub from there in order to get the ball rolling on other services.

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38 minutes ago, janey99 said:

She also had no childcare to leave Maddie with during usual retail business hours.

Lack of childcare was probably the most important factor for retail or any job without flexible hours. And without a stable family, she could not even leave her child with relatives for more than a few hours. Among other things, this series is a good argument for affordable childcare and universal preschool, funded by the government if necessary. It would help the parents, the children, and the economy. 

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I don't remember now, but maybe it was established that she could only make an amount of money under a threshold that would keep her eligible for government subsidy programs. I was working at a grocery store in between my last full-time job (which I left because of my mental health) and my current job. I made very, very little money, but only qualified for $21 a month in SNAP (food stamps) at one point. Retail jobs won't work you 30 hours a week like Alex was getting, either. I could only get about 27, but they wanted full-time availability, which...no. I worked two jobs for a while.

Her struggle to qualify for and obtain assistance was so, so real. I don't have children, so the only things I was ever eligible for were SNAP and grant-funded mental health care. People who have never been poor have NO IDEA how hard it is. It's crushing and takes every single ounce of your might to keep going every day.

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Just finished this. Mostly frustrating and depressing, but thank God for a happy ending.

I was really frustrated with the fact that Alex kept going back to Paula. I think I know what the show is trying say about Alex, showing what a good person she is and how devoted she is to her mother, but I would have given up on this woman ages ago. She's just one more headache that Alex didn't really have to deal with. I thought when Alex told Denise she'd been taking care of her mother since she was six, and Denise said "What if you didn't anymore?" maybe a lightbulb would finally go on, but no, she was determined to drag her mother all the way to Montana with her. It was as if she is determine to sabotage her own happiness. 

The fact that it's realistic or telling me something about the circumstances doesn't make it any easier to watch.

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What frustrated me most about this show was that they piled so much on Alex. Alcoholic/abusive ex, absent/abusive father, undiagnosed/unmedicated mother—I don't think all of that was necessary. The show was most effective for me when it was showing how hard Alex's daily life was: not enough money for basics like gas; having to fill out so much paperwork for benefits and then getting into the Catch-22 of needing three different certifications but not being able to get them because you don't have the certifications; needing to work but having no child care, etc. The grind of poverty is relentless, and the show did a good job of showing that.

Paula was a nightmare and a hot mess, but I give her credit for knowing that Alex going to Montana was Alex's adventure, not hers. That felt in character to me. I also give Nick credit for knowing his sobriety had to take priority over everything, even being a father. That also felt in character, though he was a real jerk to use Maddy as a weapon. But I get that he felt that was one thing he could control. The show did a good job of giving the characters a nice amount of nuance. You understood (mostly) why they acted the way the did.

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On 10/18/2021 at 6:57 AM, sadie said:

It was an interesting series. I liked that it showed some of Alex’s issues were her own bad choices in the moment. All her problems weren’t created by her, but I got so frustrated when it was her (allowing the gay couple to talk her into having Maddies bday party on-site knowing the potential of her friends causing havoc was high, inviting the Tinder guy over to the house she was cleaning, staying out all night w Sean dealing with her mom and not even bothering to send Nate a text when all she had to do was text a “hey my mom just tried to kill her self headed to hospital). Even entertaining the idea of bringing her mom with her to college, on what planet was that gonna be a good idea, was the point that she was so damaged by her life she was doomed to keep making bad choices? And I don’t know if it was the writing or the actress but even at the end when she went to thank lawyer lady it just wasn’t what I expected, too low key. I get we were supposed to root for her but I had mixed feelings about it.

Taking her mom with her was so obviously a bad decision.  Her mom did her a FAVOR by backing out at the last minute.  I doubt her mother would have been eligible to live in the family housing with Alex and Maddie so would still have been homeless, just in another state.  There would have been no way for that to work.

I kept thinking that creative writing was not the kind of degree Alex should be working toward.  She needed to go to a two-year college and get an associate's degree in some kind of in-demand field.

Nate was a problem for me!  He would have been the solution to all Alex's problems in some way, and he was a kind person in a lot of ways, but also kind of smarmy for trying to push her into a romantic relationship with him when he knew what turmoil her life was in.  She made mistakes, too, especially by not texting when she had to take her mother to the hospital, but OMG.

I really loved how this show demonstrated how expensive it is to be poor and how difficult it is to find work with a living wage here in the US.

When I watched the first episode, I had to take a break.  That was exhausting.  I was able to binge the rest of teh episodes, but that first one required a break.  Everything that happened was so devastating.

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On 11/21/2021 at 2:16 PM, dubbel zout said:

What frustrated me most about this show was that they piled so much on Alex. Alcoholic/abusive ex, absent/abusive father, undiagnosed/unmedicated mother—I don't think all of that was necessary. The show was most effective for me when it was showing how hard Alex's daily life was: not enough money for basics like gas; having to fill out so much paperwork for benefits and then getting into the Catch-22 of needing three different certifications but not being able to get them because you don't have the certifications; needing to work but having no child care, etc. The grind of poverty is relentless, and the show did a good job of showing that.

Maybe it wasn't necessary to have all three factors (ex, father, mother) to make the point about how hard it is to live in poverty or get out of poverty, but I think it was a way to show how "easy" it is to get into and stay in an abusive and/or dysfunctional relationship when you come from a background with abuse and/or dysfunction. Of course, not everyone who is married to alcoholic or a victim of abuse comes from that type of background, but when you do come from that background it can seem almost "normal" or at least something expected, and you may even feel that you don't deserve better. It's very difficult to break the cycle.

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12 hours ago, Paloma said:

Maybe it wasn't necessary to have all three factors (ex, father, mother) to make the point about how hard it is to live in poverty or get out of poverty, but I think it was a way to show how "easy" it is to get into and stay in an abusive and/or dysfunctional relationship when you come from a background with abuse and/or dysfunction. Of course, not everyone who is married to alcoholic or a victim of abuse comes from that type of background, but when you do come from that background it can seem almost "normal" or at least something expected, and you may even feel that you don't deserve better. It's very difficult to break the cycle.

This. Also, the Venn diagram of mental health issues, substance abuse, and abusive relationships has significant overlap.  For one thing, people with undiagnosed/untreated mental health issues frequently self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.  So, the odds are high that a person in an abusive relationship was raised in some form of abuse.  And if they were raised in an abusive household, it is also likely that there was substance abuse and/or mental health issues. (As a side note, there were indications that Sean's mom had some kind of personality disorder indicating his background was as traumatizing as Alex's own.)  

And not only is there an abuse cycle with people that grow up in abusive families, but there is also a remarkable gravity between people in and from these relationships.  People with complimentary (in the worst possible sense) dysfunctions find one another. It's what they know and what is familiar. 

Even now, with 4 decades of life experience, more than a decade of healthy friendships and a great chosen family, I sometimes have difficulty trusting in my ability to choose or even recognize a good situation for myself. Toxicity is both traumatizing and familiar. It's like part of my brain is jigsaw puzzle that fits chaos and I have to consciously evaluate my impulses to determine if I'm setting up bad patterns.  Most days, I'm reasonably sure I've grown and make healthier choices generally.  

Edited by RachelKM
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9 minutes ago, RachelKM said:

the Venn diagram of mental health issues, substance abuse, and abusive relationships has significant overlap.  For one thing, people with undiagnosed/untreated mental health issues frequently self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.  So, the odds are high that a person in an abusive relationship was raised in some form of abuse.  And if they were raised in an abusive household, it is also likely that there was substance abuse and/or mental health issues. (As a side not, there were indications that Sean's mom had some kind of personality disorder indicating his background was as traumatizing as Alex's own.)  

And not only is there an abuse cycle with people that grow up in abusive families, but there is also a remarkable gravity between people in and from these relationships.  People with complimentary (in the worst possible sense) dysfunctions find one another. It's what they know and what is familiar. 

Even now, with 4 decades of life experience, more than a decade of healthy friendships and a great chosen family, I sometimes have difficulty trusting in my ability to choose or even recognize a good situation for myself. Toxicity is both traumatizing and familiar. It's like my part of my brain is jigsaw puzzle that fits chaos and have to consciously evaluate my impulses to determine if I'm setting up bad patterns.  Most days, I'm reasonably sure I've grown and make healthier choices generally. 

Absolutely true about the overlap. And I'd forgotten about Sean's mom, but didn't she also have a history of addiction? I vaguely recall that she had been addicted to drugs (maybe opioids?), not alcohol. 

As your last paragraph indicates, the ability to recognize toxicity and make better choices may improve with time and experience, but it is easy to fall back into the familiar emotional patterns. I'm over 70 and my toxic mother has been dead for several years, but I still struggle with feeling unloved and have always been fearful of becoming estranged from my daughter in the same way that I was estranged from my mother. It helps somewhat that she knows the history and we can talk about it, but it's never something I can just put in the back of my mind and forget. And I also self-medicate, using food as my drug for anxiety and depression (which, of course, causes its own physical and psychological problems).

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20 minutes ago, Paloma said:

Absolutely true about the overlap. And I'd forgotten about Sean's mom, but didn't she also have a history of addiction? I vaguely recall that she had been addicted to drugs (maybe opioids?), not alcohol. 

I don't recall now.  That sounds right.  I just remember that something about references to her behavior left me with the impression that she had serious narcissistic traits, like leaving him as a child to care for himself for days at a time or something along those lines.  Of course, narcissistic behaviors in addicts is common so maybe it was drugs or both. I don't think we got a ton of information about her other than that she was also a toxic person who had helped to screw up Sean. 

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I read the book and wasn’t a fan of the writing style or the author, but I may check out series after reading your comments here. 

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3 hours ago, Scarlett45 said:

I read the book and wasn’t a fan of the writing style or the author, but I may check out series after reading your comments here. 

The character of Alex comes across much more sympathetic than Stephanie Land does in interviews or in the first chapter of the book (I wasn't compelled enough to keep reading after that).

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