Runtime: 24 minutes per episode
Director/Writer: Nida Manzoor
Actors: Anjana Vasan, Sarah Kameela, Impey, Faith Omole, Lucie Shorthouse, Aiysha Hart, Zaqi Ismail, Demmy Ladipo
By Joan Amenn
As a relatively new streaming service, Peacock TV (a subsidiary of NBC and named after its logo) has a few outstanding series that sadly, may get overlooked amongst the bigger budgeted, more recognized shows from the bigger name services. “We Are Lady Parts” (2021) is one of these irresistible, “am I really the only one watching this?” shows that needs its name shouted from the virtual rooftops of social media.
“Lady Parts” is a punk rock band consisting of four Muslim women. Yes, you read that right. They’re loud and irresistible and viewers are sure to have a personal favorite, like the Fab Four. There is Amina, (Anjana Vasan) who is a brilliant microbiologist grappling with social anxiety. Saira (Sarah Kameela Impey) is the founder of the band but her frequent bouts of hostility may jeopardize it. Ayesha (Juliette Motamed) is the drummer who is more about enthusiasm than technique and the Earth Mother guitarist, Bisma (Faith Omole). Their manager, Momtaz (Lucie Shorthouse) is almost completely veiled but that doesn’t stop her from rocking out to her band’s sometimes goofy songs.
Despite the humor, the series touches on the experiences of women struggling with the expectations placed on them by their families, religion and society. There is a real poignancy to Amina comparing her life to her best friend Noor’s ( Aiysha Hart) as she prepares for an elaborate wedding. Amina life is pretty limited to her work and living with her parents until she serendipitously sees an ad for a band audition. Watching these women break free of the external constraints placed on them and the internal constraint of their own insecurities is what makes their story so compelling. “We Are Lady Parts” is never disrespectful of their struggles but shows them with grace and a lot of good natured gags. And music, which gets better with each episode.
The original soundtrack is surprisingly good, and the few covers are even more fun. The only complaint to this winning series created and directed by Nida Manzoor is it is only six episodes long. The party is over just as it was getting good and now we must wait impatiently for the hope of a second season. Manzoor has blown up every stereotype of Muslim women that has been depicted on screen and the world is better for it. “We Are Lady Parts” is not to be missed. Rock on, Ladies!