Based on Stephanie Land‘s “Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother’s Will to Survive“, Molly Smith Metzler‘s Maid is a grim but compelling 10-part series about a single mom (Margaret Qualley) barely getting by somewhere in the northwest. Damp, rainy, ferries.

I’ve only seen episodes #4 through #7, but the sad fate of Qualley’s “Alex” character, it seems, is to be disappointed and undermined by those around her, On one hand she’s emotionally damaged goods, and yet she’s living on a sort of heroic noble island and therefore quite alone and isolated. 25 years old and struggling and perhaps stuck there until further notice.

She comes from a dysfunctional family (formerly brutal alcoholic dad, presently flaky hippie mom), has had a child with a sober dude who began drinking at age nine and who may fall off the wagon again. She’s treated brusquely by her cleaning business employer, and state assistance reps are their own odd trip except for the kindly woman who runs the abused women halfway house. Life is no picnic.

And yet — this is the interesting part — Alex constantly sidesteps romantic overtures from gentle, good-looking Nate (Raymond Ablack), a stable guy and a single dad of Middle-Eastern descent. Nate is easily the best option in terms of potential boyfriend material. The problem is that Alex doesn’t want to fuck him, apparently because he’s too stable and financially secure. Because she feels queasy about getting into an unequal relationship. Plus she doesn’t feel it.

There’s a moment where it appears as if Alex might be receptive to Nate’s delicate overtures. But nope.

Female Connecticut Friendo to HE: “I couldn’t escape the feeling I was watching someone who sees herself as a victim but actually isn’t. I really don’t buy Qualley in the role. She’s too pretty and too smart to only have the one option of cleaning homes. Like she could stay with her dad. She has that option. She chooses not to. She’s whining about not getting help from the government but she has options.”

HE to FCF: “Her dad was an angry alcoholic shit when she was a young child, but now he’s sober and it’s foolish to not give dad a second chance.”

FCF to HE: “She could get a job at the daycare place. They obviously need workers. She doesn’t have to clean toilets. It’s almost like she’s doing this shitty work so she can write that book.”

HE to FCF: “And she’s a monk. She not only rebuffs Nate’s advances but seems TERRIFIED by the idea of possible sex with him.”

FCF to HE: “And not to put too fine a point on it but when you’re a single mom like that you can’t just go around and be picky about everything. Hell, I’d go for that guy. He’s cute. He’s nice. Her daughter could have a home, a dad. She seems to only want to be on government assistance.”

HE to FCF: “She’s leading a tough life because that’s the idea behind the series. The series needs her to suffer and regard all men as bad eggs of one kind or another, and to abstain from sex. Until the end of episode #7, when she inexplicably fucks Sean. But she also blows off Nate, and this reminded me of a basic law of life, which is that if you’re a nice guy who likes a pretty girl, you can’t ‘nice’ your way into a sexual relationship with her. You need to BE ‘nice,’ of course, but ‘nice’ alone doesn’t get it.”

FCF to HE: “He’s too perfect to dump. Idiot woman.”

HE to FCF: “She doesn’t want to fuck him. The thought TERRIFIES her. She walks through that series DREADING the idea of getting down with the guy. It’s almost a horror film in that respect.”

FCF to HE: “I would fuck the living shit out of him lol. Oh, to be young and pretty.”

HE to FCF: “If a single mom wants to ‘be’ with you, it may or may not have to do with whether you’re a nice guy with a gentle manner and good parenting skills. Such traits can be a factor but not necessarily. I learned during my hound-dog days that being a super-gentle nice guy doesn’t necessarily open any romantic doors. It can but not necessarily. If you’re ‘in’ with a woman, you usually know that within seconds, certainly within a minute or two. They look at you and you just know. And if they’re not interested, you know that pretty quickly also. And no amount of alpha-vibing and gentle affectionate signals and offers of assistance and whatnot will change that. And you feel badly for poor Nate because he doesn’t seem to understand this.”