June 23, 2023
In the new Prime Video series "I'm a Virgo," a teen named Cootie breaks free of his sheltered life by clubbing, flirting and hanging out of a speeding car. None of this would be particularly remarkable if it weren't for one thing: He's 13 feet tall.
"I'm a Virgo" is a surrealist comedy from Boots Riley (writer-director of "Sorry to Bother You") starring Emmy-winning actor Jharrel Jerome as Cootie. Prime released all seven episodes on Friday, June 23 to incredible buzz, with many critics calling it one of the best — and weirdest — shows of the summer. The series holds a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes and an 86 on Metacritic as of Friday afternoon.
While the show is set in Oakland, there's a bit of Philly representation in the supporting cast thanks to Brett Gray, who plays one of Cootie's new friends, Felix.
Gray grew up in Mt. Airy and attended the Philadelphia High School for the Creative Arts. He is best known for starring in four seasons of Netflix's "On My Block" but has also appeared in "Star Trek: Prodigy" and "When They See Us" alongside Jerome. Gray has also released three EPs since 2018 and a single, "New Money Same Me (Gucci Bag)," last year.
In an interview with We Got This Covered, Gray praised the show's comedic voice, which he said "screams off the page."
"I hate reading scripts," he explained. "It’s one of those things that bothers me so much. It feels kind of like homework. And so when I get something like this, I can already tell that I’m really in love with the project, because I could not stop. I just wanted to know what was going on the next episode, and what happened with what, and all these images that I was getting, I was just like, 'What am I even reading?'"
It's a fair question, as the show's opening scenes show Cootie's parents (Mike Epps and Carmen Ejogo) taking an unbelievably gigantic baby home from the hospital and raising him into an even larger comics nerd who idolizes an eccentric entrepreneur and real-life superhero (Walton Goggins). Felix comes into play midway through the first episode, when Cootie decides to break his parents' rules and leave their home for a taste of the outside world, which may not be ready for him.
"I'm a Virgo" is now streaming on Prime. The trailer can be viewed here: