‘I’m a Virgo’ Episodes 1 and 2 Review [SXSW 2023]
I’m a Virgo is the latest project from Boots Riley, director and writer of the film, Sorry to Bother You. It stars Emmy winning actor Jharrel Jerome. Additional cast members include Brett Gray, Kara Young, Allius Barnes, Olivia Washington, Mike Epps, and Carmen Ejogo.
I’m a Virgo follows Cootie, a 13-foot-tall young Black man living in Oakland, California. In the first two episodes, we learn of his secluded upbringing, growing up on comic books and television. Eventually, his curiosity leads him to explore the outside world, where he befriends Felix (Brett Gray), Jones (Kara Young), and Scat (Allius Barnes).
His newfound friendship leads to some conflict with his parents Martisse (Mike Epps) and Lafrancine (Carmen Ejogo), who worry about any danger Cootie may face. However, they allow Cootie to continue on his journey of self-discovery, learning about love, friendship, and how to live in a world beyond TV.
Themes and Aesthetics
The show tackles a lot of themes beyond Cootie’s coming-of-age, including capitalism and socialism. I feel like these are really important topics to cover, but it also feels like the show is trying to tackle too many themes at once.
Aesthetically, the show is visually interesting, with a mix of surrealism and animation. It’s also really amazing how they portrayed Cootie’s extreme stature in comparison to his environment and his friends. Also, I love Cootie’s relationship with his friends, and Epps is just hilarious every time he’s on screen.
Although I am enjoying the show so far and am curious how the rest of the story unfolds, I do feel like what I’ve seen so far may have been better suited for a feature length film. There are several scenes that feel dragged out and could definitely be cut. From what I’ve seen so far, I would give the show a 3.5/5.
I’m a Virgo releases on Amazon Prime later this year.