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The Cleaning Lady

The Cleaning Lady Series Premiere Review – Lady Luck (1×01)

THE CLEANING LADY: ƒlodie Yung in the ÒTNTÓ premiere episode of THE CLEANING LADY airing Monday, Jan. 3 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2021 Fox Media LLC. CR: Ursula Coyote/FOX

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If The Cleaning Lady keeps this up, FOX may have a bonafide hit on their hands. 

Based on Argentina’s La Chica Que Limpia, the series premiere was peak anxiety but in the best possible way as it threw you right into the action.

A mother’s love knows no bounds, and Elodie Yung, who plays the Thony, knows exactly how to evoke those emotions so that you’re feeling it with the same intensity that she is. 

Her situation is grim — she’s a respected doctor back in the Phillippines, but her son, Luca, is severely ill. He has an immune deficiency and needs a bone marrow transplant, which is how she ended up working as a cleaning lady in Las Vegas. 

On the plus side, Vegas has a lot of messes. On the downside, she’s quickly sucked into a mess when she witnesses a murder by a local mafia. 

While getting sucked into that tangled web isn’t exactly what Thony had in mind when she was looking for a better paying job, it’s the hand that’s dealt. 

Instead of killing her on the spot, Arman (played by Designated Survivor stud Adan Canto) takes pity on her and allows her to clean up the murder of club owner Theo. He’s impressed with her particular set of skills, so he hires her full-time. 

But every boss has a boss, and it’s no different with Arman, who answers to his father. He sees something redeemable in Thony, so by hiring her, he’s essentially giving her another chance. 

And Thony definitely understands the arrangement, which comes with a stack of fat cash for every clean-up and a hook-up at the doctor’s office to get her son pushed up higher on the list. 

Thony is doing it all for her family — for her son. She’s putting her life on the line solely to take care of her kid. 

The trope of a devoted mother pushing the boundaries to save her child has been popular as of late, and it’s because it’s so relatable. 

We can’t fault Thony for her actions, no matter how questionable, because she has no other choice. 

At first glance, Thony should be a meek and mild woman, but she’s the complete opposite, which is also what draws Arman in. She’s feisty, she’s fearless, she sticks up for herslef, and she can hold her own next to him. 

She demands respect because no matter what, she deserves it. It’s invigorating to see a woman demand to be treated the way she should. 

There’s a power tussle between the two, but the scales never fully tip. Arman goes the extra mile for Thony because he knows she deserves it, but he still has the upper hand. In that way, it’s almost frustrating because, despite everything, she’s still a kept woman. 

Of course, that power dynamic can change at any moment with the introduction of the FBI, who is very much onto her. 

It didn’t take them long to find her and pinpoint her, but it’s obvious that they’ll offer immunity in exchange for information.

Then, Thony will have to play her cards right to ensure that she does right by Luca first and foremost. No matter what happens, she’s never going to lose sight of that. 

The biggest obstacle will be the budding romance between Arman and Thony. They can communicate without exchanging words; glances suffice. Their chemistry can be likened to Beth and Rio on Good Girls, which says a lot since that relationship took a few episodes to build up.  

On The Cleaning Lady, it’s an instant and undeniable chemistry. They are both drawn to each other in a way that’ll definitely complicate their professional relationship. It’s going to make Thony’s job delivering intel to the FBI much harder. 

If I were to guess, I would say that her alliance will remain with Arman as he promised to take care of Luca if anything were to happen to her. 

They also have the one thing Beth and Rio never did: trust. 

She owes him for saving her life when he learned about the bomb; he owes her for saving his leg when he got injured. Their relationship is built on mutual and exclusive trust. 

There’s also the problem of Arman’s wife, Nadia, who is clearly a ticking time bomb… no pun intended. A lot of people are likely going to want to get rid of Thony, including Nadia when she realizes her man is obsessed with what she’d likely refer to as “the help.”

The Cleaning Lady does a lot right, which makes it the most gripping new drama on television, but one of its biggest wins is casting a Cambodian-Chinese woman as the lead. 

Diversity on television is important, but diversity for the sake of diversity doesn’t deliver the same message as a series that taps into the hardships of immigrants doing their best in a world that’s determined to see them fail. Thony is a lead that wants and needs to be seen, and the series is more than happy to give her a voice. 

Thony’s strength comes from a raw place as she literally has no choice but to fight. The system wants her to fail, as witnessed by her interaction with the nurse at the clinic. 

The Cleaning Lady Series Premiere Review TNT Season 1 Episode 1

THE CLEANING LADY: L-R: ƒlodie Yung, Adan Canto and guest star Alonzo Ortega in the ÒTNTÓ premiere episode of THE CLEANING LADY airing Monday, Jan. 3 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2021 Fox Media LLC. CR: Ursula Coyote/FOX

The lack of a single piece of paperwork prevents her from getting her son the life-saving treatment he needs. It’s heartbreaking, but the perfect motivation for a character that’s going to carry the show squarely on her shoulders. It’s a woman’s world, and she knows it. She may not yield all the power, but she does have some of it, and that’s enough to keep her going. 

Aside from the action, the series wins in the calm and nuanced moments. The best scenes find Thony coming home after doing the unspeakable simply to cuddle up to her child fully knowing that each time could be the last — either he doesn’t make it or she doesn’t. The risks are high for both of them, so there’s a lot to cherish when she can go the extra mile to give him some facetime to play basketball with his cousins.

Thony won’t be able to keep up the shtick much longer as her beshie Fiona is going to catch on that she’s not being entirely honest about where she’s headed at all hours of the day. 

Their friendship is rather developed for a pilot as I’m already finding myself invested in how things will change when Fi realizes Thony judged her for wanting to sell drugs in order to work at a luxurious nightclub while simultaneously digging herself into a much deeper hole with the FBI on her tail.

I hope it doesn’t cause a rift between them because Thony needs some kind of stability if she’s going to get through this. 

I’m also curious if her husband Marco is ever going to make the same level of sacrifice that she has for their son. 

From the brief video interaction, it seems as though he’s living a pretty cushy life in the Phillippines while she risks everything to ensure Luca’s survival. That’s not exactly fair. 

The Cleaning Lady is one soapy mob/crime drama I won’t be snoozing on this TV season. The stakes are high in the first hour, there are many cards left to play, and the lead is perfectly cast to provide a touching look at the plights that accompany undocumented immigrants with nothing but hope. 

Were you as hooked as I was? Let us know your thoughts in the comments! 

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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

The Cleaning Lady

The Cleaning Lady Review – Smoke and Mirrors (310)

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The Cleaning Lady Season 3 Episode 10 seems to getting its groove back—and best of all, it’s forcing Nadia and Thony into each other’s orbits. 

The latest development in the storyline brings them closer than ever before as they focus on a common goal of taking Sin Cara down.

As the episode declared, Thony found herself in a rather tricky situation, stuck between Ramona and the FBI. Neither was going to shake her, which is no way to live. Thony needed an out, quickly, and when it presented itself, she didn’t hesitate. Ramona said something to Thony that foreshadowed what was to come and illuminated her path forward—in every situation, even the powerless ones, Thony always looks for the power; the upper hand. 

So, when pushed into a corner, Thony found the power and did what she had to do, confessing that she knew Jeremy was FBI (he thought he was so slick—the poor man had no clue that his cover was long blown) and leveraging it to save Nadia’s life…. by killing her, temporarily, of course. Arman would be proud of the way they continue to have each other’s backs. 

It did seem as though Thony was going to make a full venture into the dark side when she offered to “take out” Nadia, but that wouldn’t be in line with the character—and her alternative actually allows her to walk back the line to freedom and innocence. She’s pushed the boundaries for so long for the sake of her family, but now, it’s done more harm than good. 

And getting out isn’t as easy as one might think. She tried reasoning with Ramona to cut her loose after she proved her loyalty, but the problem was always that, just as everyone before her, the leader of Sin Cara saw what Thony was capable of and deemed her to be valuable, and thus, she would always dig herself in deeper. 

But now, after essentially blackmailing Jeremy into helping her pull off Nadia’s death to the world, Thony has a chance at finding some normalcy. As does Nadia, even if the initial shock has her blaming Thony for “taking her life from her.” It’s almost like she doesn’t realize she didn’t have much of a choice—either she faked her own death or she actually died. She may not be “free” while she’s hiding out in a basement, but at least she’s alive, an once they finally take down Ramona, she will be able to get that second chance to really live. 

It’s unclear if the goal is to take down Jorge as well. Nadia was about to enter into a lucrative partnership with him, however, once he realizes that Thony and Nadia are behind the attack on his sister, I think it will prove once and for all that his loyalties lie with his blood family. There’s no way Ramona goes down for running the Sin Cara cartel and Jorge still strikes a deal with Nadia—he’s opportunistic, but not naive.

However, if you really think about it, Nadia doesn’t need him for the new luxury business venture. He needs her way more as she’s the one who has built a name for herself and developed a high-profile clientele. The only benefit of Jorge was that he had the means to unlock all of Kamdar’s money—and I’m sure she’ll find a way to leverage her link to the FBI now to get what she wants. In fact, with The Cleaning Lady renewed for another season, I think that’s what I’d be most interested in seeing—Thony and Nadia working together to open up their own business that allows them to launder money in the background. Be their own bosses!

Thony is now in the best position she can be in—she’s proven her loyalty to Ramona tenfold; she saved her life with the rogue surgery, and then killed Nadia, something that Ramona thought she didn’t have in her. She was quick on her feet, as usual, coming up with a solution that benefitted them both. Never underestimate a doctor! 

Thony is now Ramona’s greatest asset, and she doesn’t suspect her of working with the feds at all. None of those emergency protocols will matter when there’s someone on the inside feeding information that’s going about undetected (which will also come in handy with finding where they moved. Camila!). 

Plus, she has protection with Jeremy in her corner while feeding him information that can bring down Ramona and eventually buy her and her family freedom. And it doesn’t seem like Russo knows anything at all, which means there’s less likelihood of word getting out about Thony’s double-agent duty. 

It is a good pivot for The Cleaning Lady after wrapping up the storyline on Arman Morales, all while restoring agency to the female characters who have proven they can weather any storm. 

What did you think of the episode?

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‘The Cleaning Lady’ Renewal News That Left Fans Seriously Shocked

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The Cleaning Lady Season 3 Premiere Review - Arman

The Cleaning Lady has officially been renewed for a fourth season—but while TV show renewals tend to elicit excitement from fanbases, the Fox renewal is snagging some divided reactions.

Mostly, fans are expressing their shock that the show scored yet another season in light of Adan Canto’s real-life death, which heavily impacted the direction of season 3—and, according to many fans, not in a good way (though the creative forces behind it are trying their best to navigate a tricky situation). 

“This really surprises me. I miss Adam Canto but thought they did a good job this season. Thought for sure it would end its run this spring,” one fan wrote of the series getting the green light.

“Really? Why?” another simply pondered.

Someone else chimed in noting: “Surprising and yet not surprising, either. It was renewed for a season 3 with low ratings, so it’s not really surprising that it was renewed for a season 4 with even lower ratings. That being said, I thought they’d just end it this season after Adan Canto’s death. Not sure if this is a good idea or not.”

“The show is not very good this year,” someone else said, while elsewhere a fan mused that they thought there was “no chance.”

The surprises only continue as The Cleaning Lady is not part of Fox’s fall lineup, being held for the midseason instead. 

And in even more shocking news, Miranda Kwok, who developed the series, and Jeannine Renshaw, who was the showrunner during the third installment—taking on the difficulties of navigating a show without Canto’s Morales—will not be returning for the fourth season. If the person behind the show’s inception isn’t on board, it is surprising that the network has so much faith in a series currently averaging 2.2 million total viewers and a 0.2 demo rating.

Either way, there are plenty of fans who are surprised yet happy by the renewal as it allows the series to explore the future of the characters they love, like Thony and Fiona, without the added focus on Arman’s whereabouts. This season heavily tied into the grief of losing him, but hopefully, the slate is cleared next season and allows the storyline to flourish, with Thony making better choices and finding her groove. 

The renewal is said to be for 12 episodes, which will debut sometime in the spring lineup.

You can catch up on all of our The Cleaning Lady reviews right here!

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The Cleaning Lady

The Cleaning Lady Review – From the Ashes (309)

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The Cleaning Lady seemed like it was gaining its momentum back with the twist on Jeremy last week, only for The Cleaning Lady Season 3 Episode 9 to fall flat once again. 

It pains me to say this, but I can’t get into Ramona and Jorge being the new big bad, on the heels of an actually terrifying man like Robert Kamdar last season. They just aren’t compelling enough, even as the series aims to remind us that Ramona is cutthroat and will kill when pushed up against a wall. 

Thony wanted to find a way to remain resourceful to protect herself and her family, and thus, she began looking into Ramona’s health. It wasn’t long before she found what no other doctor was able to figure out–she was not in kidney failure, she’s suffering lead poisoning from a lodged bullet from years ago. 

Moments after her discovery, Ramona was on the makeshift operating table as Thony dug out fragments and attempted to make the most out of this second lifeline. It all just felt a bit too rushed for my liking—the whole season kind of feels like they can’t wait to get to the next big thing, all while simultaneously giving the vibe that not much is happening when it comes to momentum. 

The Sin Cara cartel is dull—and nothing compared to what Thony previously dealt with. 

And it took her absolutely no time to also figure out that Jeremy was snooping around her house and not to be trusted. From those flashbacks, it’s unclear if she thinks he’s the cartel’s enemy or if she’s aware that he’s an FBI plant, but either way, Thony is not pleased that yet another person has been lying to her. 

Jeremy seemed like a promising agent at first as he figured out a way to get close to Thony and solved the big mystery at hand that Sin Cara is a woman. He was unassuming and was able to ask questions without it coming off too suspicious or nosy.

But then he made such a rookie move. He’s not the kind of person to underestimate Thony, so why wouldn’t he assume that she would check the cameras/notice that a chunk of time was cut out? 

But what now? Will Thony confront him and take his deal to work with the FBI and bring down the cartel? It’s a dangerous option for sure, but it might be the only way she washes her hands of everything and moves on. Having Ramona and Jorge in her life has only proven problematic, plus, bringing them down while working with the FBI would be the best revenge for Arman. 

However, Thony is so engrained in this lifestyle, I don’t think she’d ever openly trust the FBI either. She likes to do things herself and for herself, and I’d assume that would play a key role in her decision-making.

The whole cartel storyline is also getting quite muddled as now Jorge has set his sights on Nadia, and is hoping to leverage her power and money into creating his own dynasty, apart from his sister’s since he thinks she’s “holding him back.” When confronted, Jorge made it seem like Ramona was still holding the reins, so he’s playing on both fronts and likely seeing if he’s better off with Nadia or Ramona in his corner. Either way, I can’t say I’m too invested in this and simply want to see Nadia out of the game for good, right along with Thony. 

As for Fiona and Chris, it definitely seems like they don’t know how to include them—and that’s a shame since they had such prevalent storylines at the beginning of the season as we learned more about Fi’s past—so they are now on this goose chase to find Camila. 

It’s possible finding Camila will open the door to a corrupt part of Ramona’s business, and that will be a way to take her down. And hopefully, Chris doesn’t have to suffer the loss of a woman he loves in the process. 

“From the Ashes” surely felt like a filler episode more than anything, but we are also seeing Thony once again prove her resourcefulness and rise up from the pain and suffering of losing Arman. She’s gained Ramona’s trust—which has to mean something—and must leverage that to free herself from this mess. I guess knowing that Luca is thriving in school due to all the sacrifices she made and all the hoops she jumped through is proving to her that there’s a reason for everything. 

What do you think of the episode? Are you enjoying this season thus far?

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