If the never-ending supply of mystery thrillers on TV has started to give you nightmares, We Are Lady Parts is here to provide the perfect antidote. Channel 4's new 'musical comedy' is worlds away from true crime, combining a sharp script, original songs and a female-fronted cast to create something entirely fresh and funny.
Following the lives of five musically gifted Muslim women, the series begins as PhD student Amina Hussain (Anjana Vasan) sits down to meet a potential suitor. There's no immediate chemistry but Amina’s vivid fantasies about his Khal Drogo-esque physique keep her invested in the meeting. The dream is cut short, however, when Amina’s parents let slip her lifelong love of guitar. Amina insists that her playing is kept strictly to charitable music lessons but her date leaves less than impressed, meaning she has to sift through her marriage dating apps once again.
Elsewhere we are introduced to the musical stylings of punk band Lady Parts. Practising their earth-shattering sound in a dingy London basement, the group seems ready to take on the world. However, after a frustrating rehearsal, lead vocalist Saira (Sarah Kameela Impey) decides that Lady Parts is in need of a new lead guitarist. Drummer Ayesha (Juliette Motamed), bassist Bisma (Faith Omole) and manager Momtaz (Lucie Shorthouse) aren’t entirely sold on the idea but they agree to open auditions in the hope of bettering their chances in a local band battle.
Eventually, their hunt for the next punk superstar leads them to Amina. While the 26-year-old has less than enthusiastic feelings about performing in front of large crowds, other areas of band life prove to be rather desirable, leaving Amina to mull over her musical talents.
The words 'musical comedy' might conjure up unwanted images of a Broadway-inspired show like Glee but We Are Lady Parts couldn’t be further from the case. Incorporating powerful original punk songs written by the series director Nida Manzoor, the use of music throughout the show is welcome and surprisingly catchy. Filled with feminist lyrics relating to their experiences as young Muslim women, the rage behind the band’s performances is authentic, enhanced by their metal-inspired aesthetic and disdain for 'mainstream music'.
Songs aside, the six-part series really makes its mark with its cast of hilarious characters. With varying backstories, from working as a part-time butcher to moonlighting as a lingerie sales assistant, each bandmate has their own uniquely funny identity that's underpinned by a collective ‘no f*cks given’ attitude. Amina’s good-natured innocence cuts through this coolness, her awkwardly honest internal monologue bringing the show full circle.
If you're searching for a series that documents the trials and tribulations of being a twentysomething woman with a dream, this indie show hits the nail on the head. Touching on universal truths and culturally relevant conversations, the show takes on everything from searching for your soulmate to finding your own independence and personal identity. Even better, it's all tied together with a killer soundtrack, We Are Lady Parts is the fun-filled punk comedy you didn’t know you needed.
We Are Lady Parts premieres at 10pm on Thursday 20th May on Channel 4.