‘We Are Lady Parts’: Peacock’s Punk Comedy Series Obliterates Stereotypes
A group of five very different young Muslim women come together to smash the patriarchy and stereotypes in “We Are Lady Parts,” a comedy series and British import that has arrived Stateside via Peacock. Graduate student Amina Hussein (Anjana Vasan) is the newest addition to Lady Parts, an all-female punk band. Like many modern young Muslims, Amina is caught between two worlds, and people of all different backgrounds will relate as she simultaneously studies microbiology, nurtures her creative side, and searches for a partner. However, being a devout Muslim, she is more serious than most 26-year-olds when it comes to the latter, as she is seeking a Muslim mate for marriage. Ironically, it is this search for a husband that leads her to the punk sisterhood.
Just like in last year’s musical drama “Yellow Rose,” which followed a young Asian-American women as she pursued a career in country music, “We Are Lady Parts” explores a non-white character who challenges our stereotypical image of a musician in a predominately white genre, in this case rock. The person behind the voice or guitar riff doesn’t always match what we see in our heads. Amina, a guitarist who loves classic rock, gets it from all sides, and her best friend, Noor (Aiysha Hart), gives her a hard time about her fangirling over old white men like DonMcLean. Noor, who is engaged, even encourages her to take her being a guitar teacher to underprivileged kids out of her profile on a Muslim matchmaking app.
Meanwhile, the members of Lady Parts decide that they need a lead guitarist. Unlike Noor and most of Amina’s other friends, these women, all Muslim, are outspoken non-conformists. Lead singer Saira (Sarah Kameela Impey), the only one in the group who doesn’t wear a hijab, is employed in a halal butcher shop and has a dating relationship with Abdullah (Dave Avery). Foul-mouthed drummer Ayesha (Juliette Motamed) works as an Uber driver, while bassist Bisma (Faith Omole), who is married with a little girl, is trying to get her radical feminist comic off the ground. Rounding out the group is manager Momtaz (Lucie Shorthouse), a veiled woman with a shady past who sells lingerie.
They say those who can’t do teach, but while Amina certainly has talent, her extreme stage fright prevents her from performing. She learned this when she was in the sixth grade and got so nervous during a talent show performance that she vomited on the audience. One person in the audience that day was Saira, and she’s thrilled when Amina walks into the butcher shop where the auditions are being held. However, Amina actually came for a shot at love, as she got the flier advertising the auditions from her crush, Ashan (Zaqi Ismail), Ayesha’s brother whom she sent out hoping he’d hook thirsty chicks. However, Amina bolts when they push her to play something, but they eventually get her to audition by promising her a date.
Just like Ramy Youssef did with his series “Ramy,” “We Are Lady Parts” creator Nida Manzoor sets out to prove that Muslims are more like their secular counterparts than people realize. While “Ramy” presented a male POV, “We Are Lady Parts” focuses on Muslim women, who are often held to a higher standard. Just because someone wears a hijab or bears other outward signs of devotion, it doesn’t mean that they are perfect. They stumble and experience highs and lows like everyone else. The whole punk theme adds a fun, chaotic energy which promises the viewer a wild ride.
“We Are Lady Parts” begins streaming June 3 on Peacock.