Video Review: Mary J. Blige "Strength Of A Woman"

Inside a darkened apartment, Mary J. Blige puts on her ring and glasses. She clenches her fists.  She walks on the rooftop of the apartment building and sings.

From the clip of the TNT television show, “Claws.” Desna (Niecy Nash) applies some eyeshadow sitting at her vanity. Virginia (Karreuche Tran) applies lipstick to her upper lip.

A storefront has the Claws logo on it.

From the clip, Quiet Ann (Judy Reyes) puts on earrings. Desna, Quiet Ann and Jen (Jenn Lyon) pick up some carry out from a restaurant. They walk to work. A tired Quiet Ann clicks the light for the “Open” sign. The women decorate nails in the current styles. Polly (Carrie Preston) finishes a customer’s nails.

Against an orange background, Blige sings.

Quiet Ann moves her arms over a customer’s head while Jen cheers next to her. Desna throws a match into a fire then runs as Virginia, in a pink fur coat, watches it burn. Uncle Daddy (Dean Norris) fires his gun at the gun range. During a birthday party at the salon, the women group hug. Desna hugs Jen. The women dance with their customers and have drinks at the bar after work.

Underneath a starry sky, with shades of electric blue, she continues to sing.

Virginia, muddied, her hair wringing wet, looks around, trying to figure out where she is.

In a shimmering dress, Niecy Nash stands against the city’s skyline.

From the clip, Polly laughs at a video on her phone. The women shop together in the city. Jen cries into a friend’s shoulder.

Nash and Preston clasp their hands together on the rooftop.

From the clip, the women put their hands together during their huddle at work.

Against a creamy white background, the stars of the show stand in silhouette.

From the clip, Uncle Daddy points the gun at Desna. Desna guards her friends with her arms, creating a shield.

The silhouette lightens, showing them standing.

The women clap and smile as they stand against the logo for the show.

From the clip, Desna points her gun and fires into the window, shattering it. Virginia stands in the background, stunned. Uncle Daddy throws the table to the floor. Quiet Ann pops open a bottle of champagne. Outside the salon, Desna comforts a crying Polly. At the bar, Jen dances with a guy.

Underneath the logo, the stars of the show blow a kiss.

Blige stares up at the stars, twinkling in the electric blue light with a strip of kelly green across the bottom of the screen.

Rating: 0/5

“Claws,” from the clips, follows four women who work at a nail salon. Every day, they have huddles in between downtime. Desna, though, seems to be involved in some shady dealings on the side. Usually, Virginia comes along as a lookout and sees the end result of her violence. Jen likes to have fun and is the comedic relief, Polly is the wacky one and Quiet Ann is tough yet weary. In between, they take of their families and each other. Until Uncle Daddy decides to burst into the house and shoot. It’s likely Desna who owes him something.

It’s billed as a crime dramedy, However, the promotion emphasizes the women’s close friendship, as though it were a grown-up CW show. The violence, which seems to be central to the show, is downplayed as a slow burning plotline, leading to the series finale.

Mary J. Blige, though, is absent and removed from the stars of the show. She doesn’t interact with them and stays on top of the building. Her inclusion seems to be a condescending gesture from the marketing department at TNT after her management raised some questions.

Director: N/A Year: 2017

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