I'm a Virgo

I'm a Virgo

This surrealist show about a 13-foot tall teenager uses its wacky premise to politically skewering effect

The Very Best


TV Show

United States of America
Action & Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Allius Barnes, Brett Gray, Carmen Ejogo


The irony of this anti-capitalist satire being an Amazon production is not lost on us

What it's about

After a lifetime indoors, a teenage giant ventures outside for the first time, forcing him to confront everything he thought he knew about the world

The take

Boots Riley established himself as a wildly creative voice with 2018’s zany anti-capitalist satire Sorry To Bother You, and with his second project, he digs his heels even deeper into that singular approach. I’m A Virgo’s world feels deeply uncanny yet intimately familiar, what with its absurdly militarised authority figures, dog-whistling media, and greed-driven economy. It’s set in Oakland, where 13-foot Black teenager Cootie (Jharrel Jerome) lives in secrecy with his normal-sized family. Frustrated, Cootie decides to venture into the outside world, but he’s soon exploited, projected onto, and demonized. However, it’s also not long before he makes his first friends, falls in love, and unlearns everything he thought he knew about the world.

The biggest revelation is that Cootie’s favorite superhero, an Iron Man-esque billionaire called The Hero (Walton Goggins), isn’t actually doing good by enforcing the law to the letter. Though it takes many weird and wonderful detours, it’s this aspect of Cootie’s consciousness-widening that is the show’s ultimate destination. These radical politics give it a sharp overarching focus, meaning its mind-bending eccentricity never feels too indulgent. It all makes for a refreshingly original, gloriously weird watch that you’re guaranteed not to have seen the likes of elsewhere.

What stands out

Jharrel Jerome’s lead performance and the behind-the-scenes magic that transforms him into the towering Cootie. As the gentle giant himself, Jerome is instantly endearing, shy and yet wide-eyed — eager to experience everything the world has to offer, and a joy to watch as he takes in the wonder of subwoofers and the tingly feeling you get inside from true friendship. The nature of the role requires him to give a unique kind of physical performance, but he’s so convincingly ungainly that we never doubt that he really is several stories high. I’m A Virgo’s old-school visual tricks — it insists on using forced perspective (i.e. not CGI) where it can — are also to thank for that, and only deepen the feeling that we’re watching something radically different from everything else out there right now.

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