Critical Condition: Claws

Claws (TVNZ 2, 9.35 Monday)

➢ “Better in concept than execution (and higher in gloss than authenticity), TNT’s drama Claws follows the skeevier travails of an ambitious Florida nail-salon owner, Desna Simms (Niecy Nash), who, to finance her dreams of opening a fancier salon across town, helps launder the piles of cash coming out of the shady pain clinic down the way, where opioid addicts gather to easily renew their prescriptions.” — The Washington Post.

➢ “Claws is working with some of the same tropes as GLOW. It’s a funky female-ensemble action-comedy, set in a Florida nail salon. But Claws isn’t a self-reflexive show about trashy entertainment, as GLOW is—it’s the thing itself, a neon-pink crime comedy, streaked with ultraviolence and dirty banter. The pitch is basically Elmore Leonard plus Steel Magnolias and Weeds, with a touch of Spring Breakers.” — The New Yorker.

➢ “Like Orange Is the New Black, Claws is impressive primarily for how genuinely it engages with a disenfranchised underclass (without making it feel as boring or academic as that sounds) … And though Claws admirably avoids judging this world, it still struggles with tone. The drama can’t quite decide how funny, smart, or pathetic it wants to be, and that can make for a jarring viewing experience.” — Variety.

➢ “There’s something quite valuable in a cable crime-time show from a female perspective, specifically the female archetypes who support and suffer the hideous men who dominate them. And yet, my fatigue with the genre … saps my interest. I worry the characters are trapped in/smothered by a pulp plot that limits their potential to be as compelling as they could and should be. I want the Mad Men version of this show, not the Breaking Bad version.” — Entertainment Weekly.

➢ “Perhaps because they’re not entirely sure what else they’ve got, the writers and producers noticeably push the boundaries of basic-cable sex and raunch. Unusual amounts of skin are exposed, in unusually direct ways. Propositions are blunt, sex acts are graphic and the discussion and depiction of toilet use are forthright. Consider that a warning or an invitation.” — New York Times.

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