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The Cleaning Lady Review 2022 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online
Thony De La Rosa (Élodie Yung) is working a gig cleaning up after an elaborate engagement party. She got the job from her sister-in-law Fiona (Martha Millan); Thony, who came to the U.S. in order to get a bone marrow transplant for her immunocompromised son Luca (Sebastien and Valentino LaSalle), is staying with Fiona and her family. One problem: The donor fell through and Thony’s visa expired, meaning both she and Luca are undocumented. Fiona is undocumented, as well, but more for reasons of moving to make a better life for herself and her kids.
After the client starts to paw at Thony, Fiona punches him in the throat. When he falls to the ground not breathing, Thony opens up an airway using whatever sharp instrument she has at hand. Turns out she’s a doctor in her home country of Cambodia and where she lives in the Philippines, and she hopes to go back to that life, and her husband, when Luca gets that transplant.
While working an underground fight club setup, she witnesses some cartel members kill the man who hired her. In order to save her life, she tells Arman Morales (Adan Canto), who’s the local boss, that she knows how to clean the blood so none of it is left. He not only spares her but pays her for the work, and tells her she’s officially on call. She’s reluctant, but basically has no choice. She gets in deeper when Arman makes some calls and gets Luca back on the donor list after Thony had problems due to her expired visa.
Meanwhile, Fiona gets a waitress job at an upscale club, but when the boss asks her to sell Ecstacy on the side, Thony ironically tells her not to do it, because if she’s caught she’ll get deported. This is as she almost gets blown up as she cleans up the cartel’s former safe location; Arman gets her out, but learns that his boss, Hayak Barsamian (Navid Negahban), is not to keep on having her around.
While we were watching The Cleaning Lady, created by Miranda Kwok (The 100), we got the gnawing feeling we occasionally get when we watch a drama that would have been a whole lot better if it was on a streaming service rather than a broadcast network. Nothing about the show was mind-numbingly stupid, as network dramas have the potential to be, but it was frustrating.
Why? Because the show touches on so many topics that can make for really compelling drama, but there seems to be a penchant for the show to default to action scenes and “scary cartel” tropes more often than not.
What we do appreciate is that the program is showing how there are many reasons why people reside in the U.S. without the proper documentation. Some, like Fiona, want a better life. Others, like Thony, overstay a visa. Thony is here to get her son the treatment he needs; he’s so immunocompromised that his room is surrounded by plastic and anyone who comes into his environment has to shower, scrub and change clothes. Thony puts him in a kid-sized astronaut suit and helmet to take him to the doctor’s office. She’s not sponging off anyone; she’s here to make sure her son survives.
We hope to see more about this, about what families like Thony’s and Fiona’s have to do in order to not get deported, and what the country’s current immigration policies mean to their everyday lives. A treatise on the patent unfairness of the American health care system would also be intriguing. Based on the pilot, though, we’re going to be surprised if the show gets that deep. It feels like it’s going to be more about Thony working for Arman and doing everything she can not to get herself killed, all the while being pursued by FBI agent Garrett Miller (Oliver Hudson).
And, sure, that could end up being a good show. It’s not like we haven’t seen and enjoyed shows where people get inadvertently embroiled in organized crime and watch how it affects their entire lives. But The Cleaning Lady feels like a show that can be so much more complex than it is, and it likely won’t be given that chance, given that it’s airing on Fox and not on a cable network or streaming service.