WE ARE LADY PARTS S2 Review: Comedy Powered By Music, Defined by Culture, Passion

Nida Manzoor's show returns for six more rockin' episodes.

Managing Editor; Dallas, Texas, US (@peteramartin)
WE ARE LADY PARTS S2 Review: Comedy Powered By Music, Defined by Culture, Passion

Turn up the volume to 11.

We Are Lady Parts
All six episodes of Season 2 will premiere on Peacock May 30, 2024. I've seen all 12 episodes of Seasons 1 and 2.

Ending on a perfect, triumphant note in 2021, We Are Lady Parts felt like a complete work of distinctive art, a comedy powered by music and defined by culture and passion.

Created, written and directed by executive producer Nida Manzoor, the show followed a three-member punk band in London, managed by a friend, who were soon joined by the shy, always nervous Amina as their lead guitarist. In six great, punchy, very funny episodes, the show covered their proud identity as Muslim women from different backgrounds and with different sexual identities, how they jelled, and then found initial, modest success.

Season 2 begins soon after the events in Season 1. The band remains together, but they are bound to be put through the wringer as they face new challenges that arrive in the wake of their initial success.

Frankly, I found the first episode to be a bit somber and even disorienting. But I think that's the intention, as the women deal with pertinent, serious issues that deserve pertinent, serious attention. The mood lightens by the end of the episode, and then I was more easily able to clamber onto the show's rollicking mood, even as the tone sometimes shifts back into more serious, yet still pertinent issues.

Beyond the relevant themes that are tackled adroitly -- I won't be specific, in order to avoid spoilers -- what really makes the show soar are the characters, who come vividly to life through the skill of the writing and the marvelous performances by the entire cast.

Amina (Anjana Vasan) is our gateway character, a young, devout, likable woman who always seeks to please others. Initially, she is solely focused on finding a suitable husband, and only gives guitar lessons to children as a community service. Yet she harbors a secret desire to play guitar in a band of her peers in front of an adoring audience. That leads her to become a member of Lady Parts. With her stage fright now manageable, how will she square her new life with her devout religious beliefs?

Saira (Sarah Kameela Impey) is the leader of the band, and perhaps the strongest personality among them. Yet she harbors an instinct to nurture and encourage, though she doesn't quite know how to express it in a constructive manner. She may be the leader, but she can't force any of the other women to do everything she wants to do with the group.

Bisma (Faith Omole) is a wife and mother, which presents challenges on a continuing basis, especially now that her daughter has grown to the point that she is exhibiting a rebellious attitude. And that starts Bisma on the road to wonder about her own identity and how she can best express it, which is similar, but different, to the issues facing Ayesha (Juliette Motamed), a single queer woman, and Momtaz (Lucie Shorthouse), the band's manager.

The show often wrestles with what is and is not halal ('permissible' in Arabic), which each character may define in varied ways. They are individuals! They are not people with their personalities fixed in stone, rigid and unchanging. They are always seeking to redefine and reexamine themselves and their beliefs, whether musical, personal, religious, or sexual, which makes the characters readily empathetic, personable, and relatable.

That's why We Are Lady Parts is a great show. And a very funny show, too, featuring excellent original songs and great cover versions of old favorites.

We Are Lady Parts

  • Nida Manzoor
  • Anjana Vasan
  • Sarah Kameela Impey
  • Faith Omole
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Anjana VasanFaith OmoleJuliette MotamedLucie ShorthouseNida ManzoorPeacock TVSarah Kameela ImpeyComedyMusic

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