Bleats

Let's Just Say It, Claws Is The Female Breaking Bad With Madder Fashion

With Season 3 wrapping up, now's the perfect time to binge the hell out of it.

When Claws started out on Stan it just seemed like a nice little black comedy about nail artists-cum-money launderers. But over three seasons the ensemble comedy has turned into something else: Claws is a female led Breaking Bad, only with savage nailwork and madder fashion.

Without wanting to give away too much, it’s a smart, self-aware show which focuses on the take-no-guff Desna Simms (Niecy Nash) whose ambitions go from entirely reasonable to oh-dear-god-how-did-we-get-here in a way that Walter White would only hope at.

And the first season’s great, but season two did the classic thing of upping the stakes, and season three – in which Desna and her rag-tag bunch of nail artists finds herself part-owner of a casino and all the drama that goes along with it, and hoo boy: it also dialled up the crazy.

The cast has some impressive credentials too: Nash was one of the stars of the cult comedy series Reno 911!, Carrie Preston’s (Polly Marks) is Elsbeth Tascioni from The Good Wife/The Good Fight, and Judy Reyes (Quiet Ann) was Carla Espinosa in Scrubs – and, pertinently, Breaking Bad‘s Dean Norris is downright amazing as Uncle Daddy.

Also, Harold Perrineau (Desna’s brother Dean) was Michael Dawson in Lost, and this season also had Twin Peaks alumnus Michael Horse as casino co-owner Mac. It’s a bunch of people that know what they’re doing, in other words.

But do those Breaking Bad comparisons stand up? Well…

Best intentions going badly awry? Check!

Ensemble cast that could hold a series on their own? Double check.

Violence that knocks you off your chair with its suddenness? Checkity.

Awesomely charismatic villains whose comeuppance you simultaneously want and fear? Oh hells check.

And sure, it might be something of a niche – but if you’ve been looking for a comedy that makes regular left-turns into graphic violence, or a crime drama with a lot of laugh-out-loud dialogue and the occasional 90s r’n’b video pastiche, then this is your series.

The final episode is streaming right now, and at this point it’s not clear whether Claws will get a fourth season or if this is as close to closure as we get, but in either case now is the time to devour the whole damn thing.

Three Current Shows Which Deserve Applause For Knowing When To Bow Out Gracefully

These shows know that it's better to burn out than fade away

Given how much of our time is spent watching television these days, and how many of said shows are old shows making a retooled rebooted return, we should celebrate the those shows that deserve applause for knowing when to bow out gracefully.

After all, there are plenty of series’ which outstayed their welcome because viewer popularity lasted beyond their premise – hi there, US version of The Office! – so it’s always refreshing when a show goes “nah, we’re good”.

Such as these three current (ish) shows:

Fleabag

With a perfect Rotten Tomatoes score and having inspired an entire generation to get horny about priests, Phoebe Waller-Bridges’ magnificently bleak comedy has followed the classic British sitcom model that ensured that people didn’t get tired of shows like The Office, The Young Ones and Fawlty Towers: two short series and out.

What the other shows didn’t have was a final scene which actually reduced grown men (me) to tears, to be fair.

WE’RE NOT CRYING YOU’RE CRYING SHUT UP

Goddamn, has an audience ever been dumped so lovingly? How are we meant to cope with that?

Santa Clarita Diet

You speak for all of us, Ron.

This Netflix series was a surprise sleeper which proved a less-than-promising concept (suburban mum becomes undead cannibal) could work with a great cast and pithy writing.

And sure, it ended on a note which suggested a whole new direction for season four – but maybe it’s for the best that the show was axed (so, admittedly, it didn’t bow out gracefully so much as be elegantly pushed out the window) before we grew tired of the endlessly delightful sight of Drew Barrymore gleefully devouring human flesh.

May we all adapt so well to the changes which life brings us.

The Good Place

Haunting.

The announcement that the upcoming fourth series of the endlessly quotable afterlife comedy would be the show’s last was obviously disappointing in the sense that The Good Place is the best thing on television (FACT) but also kind of a relief. If any of these shows deserve applause for wrapping up on top, it’s this one.

That’s partially because of the premise, but also because each season has contained at least one massive twist and the longer it goes one the harder that becomes to do without people expecting it.

Even though our heart says this.

Even so… god, it’s going to be missed.

There Are A Bunch Of TV Shows That Clearly Have No Idea How Time Works

Someone get these shows a calendar.

Many TV shows seem to have downright peculiar ideas about how time works.

No, not in a Stephen Hawking sort of a way, but in less arcane situations – whether it’s characters having birthdays on multiple dates (Ross in Friends), have ages which fluctuate wildly from season to season (Joey in Friends), meet the other characters for the first time on three different occasions (Chandler in Friends) or have pregnancies which last suspiciously long (Rachel in Frie… hey, maybe this show isn’t very good?).

We all have, dude.

But other shows have to do some serious paddling to keep their chronology-boat upright. For example, Sex And The City seemingly not being aware how long babies take to build with exes going from break up to fatherhood inside of six months

Or Pretty Little Liars continually retconning the identity of the mysterious killer A without going “hold on, if we’re now saying that Wilden was a corrupt cop that covered up the early murders, he would have been what, 12 at the time? How was he even on the force, much less taking payoffs not to investigate Toby’s mum’s murder.”

I’ve thought about this a lot.

That goes double for shows with time travel or alternate realities – trying to work out what the hell is going on in Lost or The Flash is a surefire migraine-inducer. And most importantly, how long did Ted Moseby spend telling his goddamn kids eight years worth of largely inappropriate stories about their mother?

But even with relatively straightforward premises there are plenty of ways to make it weird. Like…

That 70s Show

Period in-show: 1976-1979
Actual length: 1998-2006

The show had a pre-determined timeline, which became a problem when the show was more successful than anticipated. So the date stamps that appeared in the first series were abandoned from season two onwards when the show presumably went “oh hell, we’re going to run out of seventies really soon”.

In any case, trying to argue that eight years was really three was an easy workaround, if you assume that every episode happened in real time. Then the whole thing only went for what, a bit over seven hours?

That still doesn’t explain why they celebrated eight Christmasses, though.

M*A*S*H

Period in-show: 1950-53
Actual length: 1972-1983

That a show about the Korean War was almost four times as long as the war itself is either a testament to the power of the comedy-drama or a savage indictment on the lack of spinoffs to the actual war – a problem which the US has seemingly addressed in the Middle East.

SATIRE!

And M*A*S*H was excitingly cavalier about all sorts of character details, from birthdays to ages to hometowns to surnames. So maybe the whole show was just a flashback from Hawkeye’s PTSD?

Gilmore Girls

Period in-show: real time with actual length, supposedly

Again, it’s a function of having a show last longer than people expected it to, but Rory was 16 in the first episode and then stayed 16 for two years, despite literally having a birthday on-screen in seaons one, episode six.

She was still 16 in season two, as late as episode six. For a genius student, her arithmetic is not great.

Game of Thrones

Period in-show: um…
Actual length: 2011-2019

It’s hard to think of a show where the rules of time are more messed about, whether it’s Cersei’s season 7 pregnancy where she’s still not showing by the end, or Jon Snow covering vast distances in a couple of hours.

Fortunately no-one minded that at all and was totally cool about the final series. Next!

Community

Period in-show: a community college degree’s length
Actual length: 2009-2015

The issue with Community wasn’t that it created an anachronism by outliving its welcome so much as that it had to invent a workaround to explain why the characters were still in college after they would have definitely graduated.

Thus they invented a workaround where Jeff became a teacher and the other characters… re-enrolled?

Anyway, it was silly. And given how many actors jumped ship before the last season limped out, they knew it. THEY ALL KNEW IT.

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