Critics around the country praise Palmetto-based ‘Claws’ — mostly

Jack Kesy and Niecy Nash star in the TNT comedy-drama “Claws,” set in Manatee County.
Jack Kesy and Niecy Nash star in the TNT comedy-drama “Claws,” set in Manatee County. TNT

▪ “The trick of Claws, and when it really works, is the dignity the actresses give these women and their stories. As she’s proven time and again — most recently in ‘Scream Queens’ and her Emmy-nominated turn in ‘Getting On’ — (Niecy) Nash is adept at making the ‘big’ believable. ... And it’s when the show springboards off that kind of established realism into its unbridled ridiculousness that it really excels.” (Kevin Fallon, Daily Beast)

▪ “If you wanted to see a TV series adaptation of Harmony Korine’s film ‘Spring Breakers’ set in the world of nail salons, then TNT’s ‘Claws’ comes close ... the result tilts into showy, but bright and bold excess is what ‘Claws’ appears to be going for.” (Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter)

▪ “Aesthetically, ‘Claws’ is magnificent ... Like ‘Orange Is the New Black,’ ‘Claws’ is impressive primarily for how genuinely it engages with a disenfranchised underclass (without making it feel as boring or academic as that sounds).” (Sonia Saraiya, Variety)

▪ “Wildly inventive, delightfully surprising ... The Florida setting is key: ‘Claws’ has a vivid sense of place, set in the very gaudy, downright grimy part of the Sunshine State we never glimpsed on ‘Miami Vice.’ (You can almost smell the sweat.) The tackiness is mesmerizing.” (Dave Nemetz, TV Line.)

▪ “Perhaps the best thing about the show, aside from its excellent cast, is its insistence on revealing the humanity and nuance in flawed female characters struggling on society’s lower economic rungs. The worst things about it? A tendency to succumb to crime drama clichés and engage in tonal change-ups that sometimes make it difficult to know whether to laugh at ‘Claws,’ laugh with it, or not laugh at all.” (Jen Chaney, Vulture)

▪ “It is razor-sharp and hard-edged. Imagine a cross between a Florida version of ‘Steel Magnolias’ (‘Steel Palmettos’?) and ‘Breaking Bad.’ (Mike Scott, Times-Picayune)

▪ “‘Claws’ doesn’t work. The brush strokes are way too broad, the tone too slapdash. Humor backs its way into the show almost by accident, and pathos, too.” (Verne Day, Newsday)

Marty Clear: 941-708-7919, @martinclear