Now Streaming: I'M A VIRGO Shakes Things Up

Boots Riley's new show, now streaming on Prime Video worldwide, is a true marvel.

Managing Editor; Dallas, Texas, US (@peteramartin)
Now Streaming: I'M A VIRGO Shakes Things Up

A 13-foot-tall Black man. For real?

I'm a Virgo
The series now streaming in its entirety on Prime Video worldwide. I've seen all seven episodes.

What if?

Creator Boots Riley contemplates how the world might be shaken by the arrival of a Black child who grows to be 13 feet tall. Raised in isolation by his protective parents (Carmen Ejogo, Mike Epps), Cootie (Jharrel Jerome) is a complete innocent, a child in a giant's body, until one day he begins to explore the outside world in modern-day Oakland, California, US.

It's a classic 'fish out of water' story, and like all 'fish out of water' stories, it starts by establishing the genuinely genial and remarkably friendly lead character, who is soon swamped by forces beyond his control. First, though, he makes friends with a trio of likable people in Felix (Brett Gray), Jones (Kara Young), and Scat (Allius Barnes), who are dumbfounded by discovering that a true giant has been living in their midst, yet quickly accept him as a new friend, treating him as an equal.

Two other key characters are soon introduced: Flora (Olivia Washington), who works at the local Bing Bang Burgers fast food joint, and The Hero (Walton Goggins), a wealthy, real-life comic book hero who dresses like a superhero as he advocates for justice.

The familiar formula is quickly shaken up by Boots Riley and his creative collaborators, who consider the implications of an unexpected powerful Black force, such as Cootie, and how other such unexpected forces have been treated in the past. It's not just a comic-book premise, either, as the show is grounded in real-world traumas, such as what's dramatized in episode 3 (written by the incredibly versatile Tze Chun, who is also a creative force on the surprisingly good Max animated series Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai).

Utilizing a dizzying variety of storytelling methods, including 2D animation and heightened stagecraft, I'm a Virgo displays an acute sense of humor and is incredibly imaginative, continally unafraid to jump to into the realm of fantasy to make its multitude of points. As with Sorry to Bother You (2018), Boots Riley has the uncanny ability to fashion commonplace realities into seemingly unhinged comic worlds that are nonetheless tethered to dramatic and thoughtful reality.

Now Streaming covers international and indie genre films and TV shows that are available on legal streaming services.

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Boots RileyBrett GrayJharrel JeromeKara YoungOlivia WashingtonPrime VideoUS

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