A highlight from MAID


Joining me is Monica Castillo, she is an arts and culture reporter with Colorado public radio. Welcome back Monica. Thank you for having me. I'm always extremely happy to have you here. As I mentioned, made is a ten episode Netflix series. It's based on a memoir, also called made, written by Stephanie land. The main character is not Stephanie land. She's a woman named Alex, who shares some of land's experiences, particularly that she leaves an abusive boyfriend with her little daughter in tow and ends up trying to figure out how to survive on public assistance while picking up work as you guessed it a maid. Andy McDowell, who is Margaret qualley's mom, plays her mother who struggles with mental health issues. And inika Noni rose plays a wealthy client who comes to play a big part in Alex's life. Nick Robinson, who you might know is the very sweet kid in love Simon shows up here as Sean, who's the father of Alex's daughter. Monica, you and I am just going to get to this right off the top. You and I both really admired the show and liked it a lot. Oh, absolutely. I was so riveted from the very first episode. I laughed. I cried. I was absolutely anxious. I ran the gamut of emotions and just one series. And the performances I thought it really hit their mark. Even though maybe all of the writing doesn't quite land for me throughout the series, but I would highly recommend this to anyone who's asking for a new TV show to watch. For sure. And one of the things, you know, I discovered this, the previews of this, when I really didn't know anything about it. And one of the things that impressed me about it first was how much it is about the logistics of being poor. It's absolutely worth noting. You know, this is a character who she's a white able bodied straight woman conventionally attractive. She has a lot of things that make that give her not as many challenges as a lot of other people have. And yet she finds when they start to get into like that to get the housing you have to already have the job and to get the job you already have to have the housing and you can't figure out what kind of job you're gonna be able to take until you know where you're gonna be able to live. There is a real attention I think to those details of how these programs that she's trying to get into. And it's something that certainly I know intellectually, but it's a really, I think smart and effective dramatization of all that stuff. Oh, absolutely. It actually brought up a lot of memories for me because I had to scrimp and save, starting out. I've bought groceries on EBT cards before. I've been through some of that process and the frustration of this magical cutoff line that then all of a sudden, you can afford groceries, and then you can't afford groceries if you fall like a couple dollars below that. It is absolutely infuriating and it could, you know, it's really stressful to be waiting for assistance to come through, however long it will take to come through. And the show does a really, really great job of showing that frustration showing that sort of like purgatory that you're stuck in while trying to get out of those situations. And it kind of does show like the holes in the safety net all the way through. Oh, for sure. And like, you know, it'll show you things like she winds up at one point getting a housing subsidy. You know that she's really waited for and worked hard to get this housing subsidy. And then she gets it. And once she gets the housing subsidy, then you have to actually go get a landlord to take it. And there is a sequence where she goes out and is almost kind of selling herself and selling this subsidy to landlords trying to get somebody to take it such kind eyes. I'm trying to get me to take a deeper voucher. Can I walk you through the deeper guidelines? It's very flexible. Oh, no, no, no, it's not monopoly money, am. It's registers. Oh, no, I do have a job. I would be paying 70% of it with help but broke much out. One of the things that can happen when you're in that situation is that you can wind up in an illegal rental. Because you have no power. So the landlord has all the power. So you wind up in a kind of an illegal rental where you have no rights and it follows you through so many pieces of how these things, as I said, fit together and things like, if you leave your job to go pick up your kid, are you going to lose your job, and if you don't leave your job to go pick up your kid, are you going to lose your kid, especially in a situation like she's in where there's a contentious relationship with an abusive other parent, these impossible choices that she winds up getting put to. And I think I've talked to a few folks and they have told me that it almost makes them too anxious to watch. And I completely understand because these are the situation that no one wants to find themselves in. And it does take you to that step Tuesday process and the tension starts at the beginning and it goes all the way through the end of the series. And I think it's done really wonderfully. I think it's, you know, explored her emotions through that too. You know, and also the frustration and the impossible choices like you said that she has to make sometimes. And you know, as a viewer, there's moments where I was holding onto my head like, oh gosh, I really hope this doesn't happen to her and maybe it will maybe it won't. So you don't even know while you're watching it. How is this going to play out? I need to kind of bring to mind, you know, all those different studies we've read over the years how many Americans live paycheck to paycheck, where one financial disaster away from losing our House or our housing, all those really precarious situations that could put someone in her shoes. The series brought up a lot of memories for me because I have done some of the things that she's had to do. I cleaned houses when I was in college and I mentioned I already had to figure out the EBT system when I was younger because I couldn't afford groceries. And just sifting through, wow, you really have to figure out how to survive and sort of navigate these different systems. And it doesn't always make sense. And there's not always someone there to help you. There's a lot of people who just assume that people can go and rely on their social networks. You assume that people can rely on their parents, money, or their parents, time, resources, and that's not always a given for a lot of people. Or that they'll have the Friends that could pitch in and watch their kid. That's not always a given. Right. So it is very heartbreaking to watch, but also a good sort of reality check. And I think, too, like, there's a lot of attention as you said to how one event can kind of throw her whole life into a total mess, and it can either be something like, you know, something happens to your car or something. You know, and suddenly, you can't get to your job, and now everything starts to collapse or something like in one of the many places that she lives if you get, for example, a problem that you need the landlord to fix, do you bring it up in which case you might lose your housing or do you not bring it up in which case now you're a living in a bad situation and be again, your kid is not living in a good situation. I think the pressures that are placed on her make so much sense to me. And also, I like this Margaret quality performance so much and I think it is so poignant, particularly the way that when she first leaves her boyfriend. She has a conversation with the woman who runs the shelter that she goes to about a friend that she meets and she kind of says, how can she go back to

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