Niecy Nash Gives a Must-See Performance in This Crime Comedy Series

The Big Picture

  • Claws is a crime-comedy series featuring Niecy Nash as Desna Simms, a cunning businesswoman who turns to a life of crime with her fellow manicurists.
  • The show showcases Nash’s comedic and dramatic prowess, allowing her to shine as a leading actress.
  • Claws is a celebration of women breaking bad in a male-dominated world of crime that paved the way for other shows to follow suit.

Their nails are sharpened and at the ready. In the TNT crime comedy series, Claws, a crew of manicurists turn bad, and their style and stealth is immaculate. Niecy Nash leads the cast as Desna Simms, and she is fantastic as a cunning businesswoman navigating the world of crime. Nash is currently having a great year, winning the prestigious Emmy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Limited Series at the 2023 Emmys. She earned the award for her portrayal of Jeffrey Dahmer’s neighbor, Glenda Cleveland, in the Netflix limited series, Dahmer-Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. Nash received critical acclaim across the board for her role, despite the controversy surrounding The Jeffrey Dahmer Story‘s subject matter. This is Nash’s second Emmy win, following a Daytime Emmy win for Clean Host, in which she hosted the series. Nash’s impassioned speech at the Emmys was considered a highlight of the night and one of the best speeches.

Claws is a must-see performance for any fan of Nash’s. It puts both her comedic and dramatic prowess at the forefront, and finally lets her lead. The series includes an incredible cast, featuring Jenn Lyon, Judy Reyes, Carrie Preston, Karrueche Tran, and Harold Perrineau. The series is rooted in women’s empowerment, as the manicurists get down in the dirt and give the mobsters in The Sopranos a run for their money. They may slap, scratch, and pull hair instead of using their fists or guns, but that’s what makes them and the show so special. As the women at the salon enter into the male-dominated world of crime, they are not anybody’s fool, and their rise in the ranks of the Florida mob scene is a bloody battle, but so fun to watch. Running for a total of four seasons, Nash is rightly center stage in a swamp-land, crime-filled odyssey, and with all her bedazzled nails and bling, she can’t help but shine.

A poster for TNT's Claws starring Niecy Nash


A look at the life and crimes of five women who work at a Florida nail salon.

Release Date

Eliot Laurence


What Is ‘Claws’ About?

Claws is a crime-comedy series set in Manatee County, Florida. Nash plays manicurist Desna Simms, owner of the Nail Artisans nail salon who dreams of opening up her own salon once she gets her hands on enough money. Though business is booming, it’s still not enough. So, Desna turns to a world of crime, and it turns out, she and her fellow manicurists are naturals. They prowl the street of Florida with their high heels and baseball bats, hunting down those who owe them money. Alongside Nash, Judy Reyes gives a quiet, but demanding performance as Quiet Ann, the salon’s muscle and bodyguard. It’s her best role since Scrubs, and she makes a meal out of the cutthroat woman.

The endearing Carrie Preston plays yet another female icon in the making as the goody two-shoes, pearl-necklace-wearing, white-collar criminal, Polly Marks. She’s a tiger hiding in plain sight, and her kindhearted persona and housewife exterior aids and abets her in all her crimes. Then there is Jenn Lyon, who plays Jennifer Husser, Desna’s best friend and partner in crime. Together, Jennifer and Desna are one of the best on-screen female duos on television. Karrueche Tran rounds out the crew of criminal manicurists as Virginia Loc, who learns all about the life of crime as the gang of women begins to rule over Manatee County.

Niecy Nash Is a Formidable Crime Boss in ‘Claws’

Desna Simms is a woman of resources, and more than gets the job done. She was born to be bad, and born to be in charge. Claws deserved more acclaim and attention across the board, and Nash’s character, Desna, is one of the best and most original female characters that has graced television screens in recent years. The series begins with Desna running her nail salon, and also laundering money for the Florida mob at a nearby clinic. She is in charge, and not afraid to make demands. But as it is a male-dominated field, the men running the operation feel like they can use Desna and tell her what to do, which doesn’t work for her.

Jack Kesy and Dean Norris play the nasty men in question, Roller and Big Daddy, and after getting tired of being told what to do, Desna decides she’ll just become a crime boss herself. Without asking for permission from anyone, Desna transforms into a Michael Corleone-inspired crime boss. Administering doses of both revenge and salvation, she becomes the neighborhood fix it woman for anyone in need. It is thrilling to watch Nash play such a complex, empowered, flawed crime boss. Desna is not perfect, and she doesn’t try to be, she just wants what is hers, and doesn’t care who she has to take down in the process.


Niecy Nash Faces Down Steve Harvey in ‘Celebrity Family Feud’ Sneak Peek [Exclusive]

The show’s next episode sees the cast of ‘The Rookie’ and ‘The Rookie Feds’ facing off.

‘Claws’ Is a Celebration of Women Breaking Bad, and Other Projects Followed Suit

Niecy Nash and the cast of Claws in the Salon celebrating a birthday
Image via TNT

Nash finally got to sink her teeth into a truly delicious, dramatic role in Claws, and it’s hands down one of the best series featuring an ensemble of women of the past several years. Originally developed as a half hour program for HBO, it made the jump to TNT and became a full-fledged, hour-long crime series bathed in blood and French manicures. Though the crime film Hustlers got all the glory for being a groundbreaking film featuring women entering the male-dominated world of crime, Claws did it first. After Claws, the NBC series Good Girls followed suit, as suburban mothers living in small-town Michigan begin to launder money and work with a notorious gang. The revolution of women breaking bad all began with Claws though, and it would have sunk if there was anyone else but Nash at the forefront. We’ve had our Tony Sopranos, Don Drapers, and Walter Whites. It’s time to add the name Desna Simms to the list of iconic female antiheroes.

Claws is available to stream on Hulu in the U.S.

Watch on Hulu

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