Claws

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Claws TV Poster Image
Sisterhood and strong, complex women anchor dark comedy.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The nail salon is an unapologetically female environment with a diverse (in race, age, interests) set of women spending time together, sometimes sharing personal stories and supporting each other, sometimes ripping men a new one.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The women of Claws are strong, complicated women with many flaws. Several are actual criminals, laundering money made by a pill-peddling "doctor's" office. Others are addicts, violent abusers, thieves. Nonetheless, there is honor amongst thieves, and these women are there for each other when the chips are down. 

Violence

One man forces another to eat spoiled oysters and then breaks a bottle over his head; a woman tries to kill a man by bludgeoning him over the head before drowning him, he returns to consciousness and punches her in the face several times before another woman shoots him dead and we see him floating in a pool with seeping blood. Two women attempt to hide a man's body by dumping it in the ocean. A man chokes a woman during sex. 

Sex

Characters have sex with moaning, thrusting, a woman's legs flung around in various positions; a man is fully nude from behind, and a woman is nude from the waist down, viewed from the side. The man falls over after the sex is over, and the woman hands him a wad of tissues with which to clean up. A man chokes a woman during sex (she is rescued before being choked to death or unconscious). Scenes take place in a strip club with women dancing provocatively in very brief bikini bottoms and just tape over their breasts/nipples. One woman gives another oral sex (no private parts are visible), as she shrieks and moans. Talk can get pretty frank in the nail salon: they talk about stripping, sex work, body parts, and other ticklish topics. 

Language

Cursing includes "ass," "bitch," "goddammit," "hell,"  "s--t," "c--ksucker," vulgar language includes "titties," "turd," "dick," "faggot." 

Consumerism

Luxury brands are mentioned infrequently: Versace. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A character smokes cigarettes; a shady doctor dispenses prescription pain pills to addicts; two men snort lines of cocaine together; clubgoers drink liquor and beer. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Claws is a dark dramedy about women who work in a nail salon that launders money for a criminal enterprise. Drug use is common: characters snort cocaine, drink liquor, and smoke cigarettes. A shady doctor provides illicit pain prescriptions to addicts, an enterprise we're repeatedly told is very lucrative. Guns are brandished and fired; a man is killed suddenly and floats in a pool with blood oozing from his wound. Women try to hide a dead body by dumping it in the ocean. Strong sexual content includes several different characters having sex with thrusting and moaning; men are visible at length from behind, and women glimpsed nude from the waist down and from the side. Oral sex is depicted in several scenes including a same-sex scene; a man chokes a woman during sex (she is rescued by another woman). Frank topics in the nail salon include stripping, sex work, body parts, and various profane sex acts. Cursing and strong language includes "ass," "bitch," "hell,"  "s--t," "c--ksucker," "titties," "turd," "dick," "faggot."  

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byEitho J. January 22, 2018
Teen, 15 years old Written bykingsebby1057 July 1, 2017

A strong dark dramedy about females that are gangsters

Claws is a great show but has some sex with only butts shown no other nudity the show can be violent at times and has some pretty strong language and drug use b... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byanexpieriencedteen September 18, 2018

A classic drug/money laundering/criminal show with ladies and their gorgeous nails

I started watching this series when I had just turned thirteen, this isn’t a kid show for sure but if a parent says it’s fine to watch, the kid can watch it. Fr... Continue reading

What's the story?

Set in a South Florida nail salon, CLAWS centers on Desna (Niecy Nash), salon owner who lives with her developmentally disabled twin brother, Dean (Harold Perrineau) and has dreams of owning a classier salon in a better neighborhood. Desna's staff includes her shakily sober good-times best friend Jen (Jenn Lyon), mild-mannered recent felon Polly (Carrie Preston), mysterious driver and security guard Quiet Ann (Judy Reyes), and snotty and duplicitous manicurist Virginia (Karrueche Tran). Complicating matters are Desna's treacherous bohunk boyfriend Roller (Jack Kesy), who's using Desna's salon to launder the ridiculous profits he makes with the illicit prescription pill-mill owned by his unstable father, Uncle Daddy (Dean Norris). With both Roller and Uncle Daddy fighting to keep Desna right where she is, even as she struggles to get away, it's a sure bet that a clash is coming -- and Desna will use any means at her disposal to get what she wants. 

Is it any good?

Dramedies set in a criminal underworld are nothing new in TV's golden age, but this show's focus on a unique crew of fiercely ambitious and compelling women sets it apart. The first notice that we're about to see something unusual comes in the first few moments of Claws' first episode, when a remarkable scene depicts three women of unconventional beauty -- each performs a solo strut walk to show how they intend to take charge of a room. Not an important moment, plotwise, but massive in terms of what it means: These women who are of an age to be relegated to the sidelines, are instead confidently taking center stage, each one struggling in her one way towards self-actualization and happiness. 

The fact that Desna's path to happiness seems to lead directly through a criminal enterprise doesn't detract from her appeal. As we soon see, she's juggling several different concerns, chiefly her unfaithful lug of a boyfriend (the scion of a local Florida crime boss), her developmentally disabled adult brother, and her desperate desire to run her own salon, free from the obligations her unsavory friends impose on her. This is a woman who is desperate, not just to survive, but to thrive, and each of the woman buffing and polishing beside her have their own dreams, struggles, and dark pasts. It's a strange kind of sisterhood to know your girlfriends would lie, steal, and killl for you, but it sure makes for a fantastic TV show. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about dysfunctional characters in Claws and discuss why writers so often turn to them for good material. Why is a person with serious problems a more compelling character than one with a calm, "normal" life? 

  • Is the audience supposed to sympathize with Desna? How can you tell? How are we supposed to regard her many transgressions? How is a sympathetic character presented, and how is that different from an unsympathetic character? 

  • Criminal enterprises are often the setting for dark dramas. What other examples can you name? How does the show keep you invested in characters who do bad things?  

TV details

For kids who love comedy

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