Maid Netflix: 5 ways the series is different from the book

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Maid has captured the attention of viewers across the globe since it started airing on Netflix. The eye-opening TV series tells the story of young mother Alex (played by Margaret Qualley) as she tries to make a better life for her daughter after escaping domestic abuse. The story was inspired by the book Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive by Stephanie Land.

How is Netflix series Maid different from the book?

Alex does not stay at a homeless shelter

In Stephanie Land’s memoir, the main character recalls how her daughter took her first steps at a homeless shelter.

In the Netflix series, Alex and her daughter Maddy are on the brink of homelessness, but they never stay at a shelter.

The mother and daughter managed to find help in the form of Nate (Raymond Ablack), who offers them a temporary home.

They also spend some time with Alex’s father Hank (Billy Burke), as well as the shelter for victims of domestic violence.

Although this may be a difference, both mediums represent the severity of the hardship faced by some poverty-stricken individuals in the US.

Alex’s abusive ex has been renamed

The main character’s overall experience in the book is completely fictionalised in the TV adaptation.

First of all, Alex’s emotionally abusive ex-boyfriend Sean (Nick Robinson), is called Jamie in the original source material.

Also, in the book, Alex’s daughter Mia has been renamed Maddy.

Speaking of the changes, showrunner Molly Smith Metzler told Elle.com: “The memoir is riveting to read, but it is an extremely lonely experience for Stephanie Land.

“She doesn’t talk to anybody. I wanted to capture how isolating her experience is, but it’s not amazing TV for a character to not interact with anybody, so our first challenge was to populate the world and also to make sure she felt very alone.”

Alex’s parents do not feature in the book

In Land’s memoir, the parents have not been named and do not play major roles in the story.

However, the series brings Paula (Andie MacDowell) and Hank to life and they both play pivotal roles in the series.

Paula actress MacDowell is Qualley’s mother in real life and it was Qualley’s idea for the pair to star alongside each other.

In the series, Paula is battling with bipolar disorder and she is unable to protect her daughter from Sean.

Meanwhile, father Hank has left Alex traumatised after he abused Paula when Alex was a child.

The series timeline has been changed

In the book, the car crash Alex has whilst Maddy is in the back takes place in the middle of the book.

However, in the series, it stars in the first episode as this is how Alex gets back in touch with her father.

Similarly, the moment where Alex managed to get a roof over her head in return for carrying out yard work goes wrong after a few days in the series.

In the memoir, this downfall occurs across a whole year, meaning storylines have been sped up for the series.

The book does not dwell on Alex’s clients

The overall concept of Alex taking on a cleaning job in order to provide for her daughter has remained the same in the series.

The book also gives insight into some of Alex’s clients, which come from various cleaning firms.

However, Land never honed in on one particular client for a vast amount of time, which is where the series is different.

Alex’s rich client Regina (Anika Noni Rose) plays a huge part in the series as her attitude towards Alex completely changes.

At the start of the series she would not recognise Alex on the street, whereas at the end, they have become close friends that confide in each other.

Maid is streaming on Netflix now.

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