If you enjoy shows like “Chewing Gum” and “Some Girls” then Channel 4’s “We Are Lady Parts” is right up your street. In just six 25-minute episodes, the show follows the story of an all-female Muslim punk-rock band. It tackles everything from feminism and sexuality to the representation of Muslim women in society and the media through its intrinsic subversion of stereotypes.
It’s difficult to remain light-hearted when a show has to be representative, but “We Are Lady Parts” does a great job at it and I was never short of cracking a smile. More often than not, when media make an attempt to “represent” people of colour, different religions, the LGBTQ+ community, disabilities, etc. they show the struggles and suffering rather than success and joy. While this is completely valid and necessary for us to understand, I see a lot of people within these social groups commenting on how we need to see them thriving in spite of what might make them “different.”
The creator of “We Are Lady Parts” – Nida Manzoor – has written for others’ creations and directed a couple of episodes of “Doctor Who,” but it’s clear to see that she has made her debut with this incredibly entertaining and original show. In an interview with KRCW, Manzoor said she wanted to show Muslim women in a “joyful light” and represent the reality of these women in a non-judgemental way. Manzoor knows there isn’t one straightforward way of being a Muslim woman, and she makes sure that we know it too.
Not only is the show amusing, but it also has a wonderful visual aesthetic, utilising bright colour palettes and a range of cinematic styles that add to the feeling of its originality and rapture. The musical interludes, lighting changes and short animations are akin to other sitcoms of the same ilk, breaking the fourth wall and allowing the audience to visualise the characters’ thoughts. Although this is a sitcom convention, especially as of late, something about the way it’s used in “We Are Lady Parts” feels refreshing and new.
Despite the inevitable yet momentary band breakup, the girls’ friendship and sisterhood prevail. The final episode truly chronicles the begging of their success as a band, as they all come together to powerfully sing out their own punk version of “We Are The Champions” to the crowded fans of varying gender, ethnicity and religion, as well as their friends and family. It’s a captivating ending scene that makes the viewer want to celebrate with them.
In a sitcom that’s silly, serious and endearing, you can easily fall in love with each of the protagonists and see part of yourself within them. I binge-watched “We Are Lady Parts” in one day; I was absolutely obsessed, and I think you’ll be too!
Words by: Emily Williams
Edited by: Nina Bitkowska