A look at the highs and lows of the band members that make up a Muslim female punk band, Lady Parts, as seen through the eyes of Amina Hussein, a geeky PhD student who is recruited to be their unlikely lead guitarist.
Conventional, straight-laced PhD student Amina feels her life is going pretty well: she loves working in the microbiology lab, she has a great group of friends, and she channels her love of music into volunteering to teach kids how to play guitar in her spare time. The only thing that will make her life complete is a husband, and she’s been on the hunt for a while now with no luck.
But then fate—in the form of the super-hot college student Ahsan, who Amina has been crushing on from afar for years—literally shoves a flyer for his sister’s band auditions into her hands. Amina figures Ahsan will be at the audition and this is her chance to have an actual conversation with him. But instead, when she shows up, she meets the eclectic members of Lady Parts: an all-female, all-Muslim punk-rock band in need of a lead guitarist.
Amina has a terrible fear of being on stage, but if she can making it past all the puking and pooping her pants (yeeeah) and her expectations of what she thinks her life should be, then perhaps rock ‘n roll is what she’s really been looking for all along.
Anjana Vasan as Amina (Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals)
Amina is sometimes shy, sometimes goofy, and needs a few lessons in confidence. I love that she’s a scientist and an artist and has a secret love for “rootin’ tootin’” music (as Saira puts it) like Don McLean. I am super enjoying her arc with Ahsan and shout-out to her amazing and supportive parents. Her mom totally gets a Tami Taylor Award.
Sarah Kameela Impey as Saira (Lead Vocals, Guitar)
I had a moment in the show where I realized that Saira’s character strongly reminded me of Christina Yang from Grey’s Anatomy, in that she’s the one most devoted to her craft and also the most emotionally stunted when it comes to connecting to other human beings (despite having very deeply felt emotions). She even likes cutting things (as a butcher, not a surgeon)! Saira finds it hard to get out of her own way, but you can’t help but admire her resolve.
Faith Omole as Bisma (Bass, Backing Vocals)
I’m hoping that season two gives us a little more of Bisma and her adorable little family. She’s the chill earth mother who holds the band together, and her day job is trying to sell issues of her comic series, The Killing Period, “set in an alternative dystopian present about a group of young women who become homicidal maniacs when they’re on their periods. Think Handmaid’s Tale meets Rugrats.” (I would totally read this, please send a copy my way, Bisma!)
Juliette Motamed as Ayesha (Drums)
This actress looks like someone else famous and it’s been bugging me for the ENTIRE SHOW, so if you have any ideas, PLEASE tell me in the comments. That aside, I low-key love the deeply sarcastic Ayesha (LBR, I love them all). She drives for Uber in her VW Golf named Hans—which would make anyone slightly misanthropic—and I chortled any time there’s a customer scene in her car.
Lucie Shorthouse as Momtaz (Band Manager)
Taz is probably the most mysterious lady of the bunch and I hope we see more of her story in the future. As the band manager she’s fearless when it comes to ferreting out gigs or getting them exposure on the internet, and you’ll often find her jamming out at band practice on the couch in a cloud of vape smoke.
Couch-Sharing Capability: Call Your Girlfriends
I loved the comfortable moments of camaraderie between characters that can only be obtained by long years of friendship, and then on the flip side watching as Amina slowly begins to form her own connections with her new bandmates, like when Saira tries to help her overcome her stage fright by going to a spoken word night. This is definitely a show you should watch with your bestie(s).
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Sober
Despite the punk rock concert energy, the haze of happiness this show provided just made me crave a nice, warm cup of tea. (It may also be a weird Pavlovian side effect of them all being British also making me want tea, but I digress.) If you have trouble with accents you’ll also want to stay sober to make sure you don’t miss anything, especially when they start performing, as that shit slaps.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Excellent
Shout out to FYA reader Sabila for sliding into our DMs to sing this show’s praises! As soon as she began describing it I knew I had to watch it, and after six (WAY too) short episodes I can official say I am a huge fan of Lady Parts. It’s charming and real and colorful, and, honestly, practically flawless in its execution. As Sabila mentioned in her recommendation, this female-created show is giving Muslim women a space to simply breathe and live: to be happy and messy and human, as well as showcasing the diversity within their own community.
It’s also freaking funny—I enjoy British humor, and all the actresses have excellent comedic timing. (I often found myself doing that weird “ha!” bark-laugh a lot when something amusing caught me unexpectedly.) How can you not fall in love with a show where the band is singing songs like “Voldemort Under My Headscarf” or “Bashir with the Good Beard”? (P.S. There’s a soundtrack out now with all the songs! They also have a punk cover of “9-5”, which is *chef’s kiss*). There were seriously so many good moments I’m definitely going to need to rewatch at some point.
There were some quiet emotional beats that really got to me too, especially around Saira’s struggles with her family and Amina’s general struggle to be true to herself (Anjana Vasan has such expressive eyes and isn’t afraid to get emotionally raw. Her breakdown at the spoken word event was intense. And no one saw me on the couch tearing up while she cried and sang “Creep” to herself in the last episode, nope.).
All of my fingers and toes are crossed that there will be a season two. Seriously: don’t miss out on this gem!