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.