Network
TNT (US), TVNZ (NZ)
Release Date
June 11th, 2017
Episode
S01E01 “Tirana”

One episode of Claws in, and I am more than ready for the rest of the series.

Set in Florida and surrounding the lives of a nail salon and its manicurists, Claws delves into the world of organised crime and money laundering, and how the group of women play their role.

The show stars Niecy Nash, Carrie Preston, Judy Reyes, Karrueche Tran and Jenn Lyon as the manicurists. At this stage the focus rests on Desna (Nash), who runs the salon, juggles a romantic and business relationship with a feared criminal, and takes care of her friends and disabled brother.

Though I was expecting comedy, it is evident that Claws, or at least the first episode, is heavily weighted with not only the conflicting glamour and sleaze of criminal organisations, but also family and relationship issues, as well as the enormous pressure that comes with being pawns in somebody else’s game.

For me, the style and themes of the episode gave me the same feelings as when I watched Harmony Korine’s 2013 film Spring Breakers – the hot, sticky setting amplifying the way dangerous and unpredictable characters create a deep sense of unease and tension, and you can’t help but feel the worst is just around the corner.

As enjoyable as that is, what made this episode so engaging was the characters. Their introductions were tantalising, and their relationships are immediately interesting.

At this stage, we’ve only been given a snapshot of the characters’ worlds, but already I want to know everything about them. I’m sure I won’t be disappointed.