I first learned about Claws while I was scrolling down Instagram in 2017 and saw an ad for the show. I will admit that at first glance I was not at all interested. It felt too colorful, too girly, and I assumed it was basically a beauty school dropout show that lacked, well, everything. Time passed and I saw the show was available on Hulu and I decided to give it a quick watch. Hours later, I was sucked into the complex plot and storylines that followed five different women from diverse backgrounds trying to create the lives they need and want while dealing with unexpected barriers and foes.
The storyline follows Desna (played by Niecy Nash – who is HILARIOUS in her own right) running a nail salon in South Florida with the goal of getting her and her younger brother who has autism out of their subpar living situation. However, her success at the nail salon is contingent on her washing money for a highly illegal and cutthroat pill mill ran next door. She runs the salon and employs her best friends, all women with their own set of struggles, complications, and triumphs.
As a show, Claws covers difficult topics like being a member of the LGBTQ community as a Latina, dealing with substance addiction, housing, impossible decisions that can lead to committing small crimes to try to get by, and mental health in a way that is realistic and relatable. The intention with which the writers give the storylines of each of the women is refreshing and helps bring a complex human experience to all women on the show.
On Season 2 Episode 2, one of the characters decides to get an abortion and the way the episode is crafted from open to close lends itself to a story arch that adds to the characters but does not define them like many other shows that have an abortion episode often do.
While the hard topics are in themselves a big theme in the show, so too are the fashions of each character. The styling choices for each character do an amazing job at unifying the women in the impossible scenarios in which they find themselves, but also making them each their own personality. From Desna’s tight spandex hourglass hugging fashions to Quiet Ann’s more masculine clothing to Virginia’s perfectly over the top and tiny fashion choices, the show’s Costume Designer Dana Covarrbias does an amazing job at dressing the characters for their parts. As a Costume Designer, Dana is a veteran in dressing strong female roles. She has worked on shows like Quantico, Master of None (the Lena Waithe episode), and Broad City.
One cannot talk about Claws without talking about the nails! Nails that even Ivy Queen would love are all over the show. Gracie J of The Editorial Nail is the lead nail artist on the show. This Haitian Latina is highly skilled in the craft and creates nails that deserve their very own storyline. Other nail artists that work on the show include Bianca “Beedy” Williams, Elissa Schell, and Mai KawaJiri. All of their Instagrams’ are full of beautiful nail art and even some nail care advice.
Do yourself a favor. Check your streaming platforms and binge the show’s first two seasons. When you’re done doing that start watching season 3 on TNT to get all of the fast paced, part telenovela, part social commentary, part drama, part comedy, and all strong female lead inspiration dose of television you need every week.