I’m a Virgo 2023 / This surrealist show about a 13-foot tall teenager uses its wacky premise to politically skewering effect


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.

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