Starstruck S3 Review: Rose Matafeo Takes A Winning Lap With Her Romantic Comedy

Should you ever get back together with an ex? It’s a complicated question when you’ve had a strong bond with someone, celebrated birthdays, celebrated movie premieres, life won, life failed, or fought, and now it’s over. But you’re alright! And then you meet again after years and…oh dear. That question underscores the third season of New Zealand comedian Rose Matafeo’s upbeat millennial romantic comedy series. Struck by the stars.

Created by and with Matafeo, along with fellow comedian Alice Snedden, BBC/HBO’s Struck by the stars is three seasons later and well-established in its succinct exploration of life’s sweet messiness, the deliciously uncomfortable clusterfuck of falling in love, the heartache of things falling apart, and the all-too-understandable feeling that everyone around you is their shit handles it better than you ever will.


Starstruck Season 2 will make you fall even more in love with the millennial romantic comedy

Season 1 plunged into the spirited chaos of something newintroduces Jessie (Matafeo) and Tom’s (Nikesh Patel) burgeoning offspring Notting Hill Situation and dealing with Tom’s fame during Season 2 asked, “What’s next?” after Jessie’s big romantic gesture, which nudges her into early dating territory. Season 3? Hard Ex Ville.

Struck by the stars brings Jessie and Tom to the ex-town

As a reflection of the completed Seasons 1 and 2, Starstruck Season 3 picks up right where we left off: Jessie’s big romantic Notebook-like gesture as she waded into the pond to kiss her ex-Tom during Ian’s bachelorette party. Unexpectedly, however, in Season 3, the long will-they-don’t-want-them romance between Tom and Jessie that we’ve followed for two seasons takes its entire course in an instant. At the beginning of the show, a beautiful, heartbreaking two-minute montage takes us through the whole thing, and two years later, the actual events of the season begin.

It’s basically Lorde’s “Supercut” and it totally threw me off.

Jessie (Matafeo) and Tom (Nikesh Patel) hug at a wedding on the TV show "Struck by the stars"

Uh… heyyyyyyyyyy! 🫣😬
Credit: BBC/Avalon UK

Jumping forward in time (same as since Season 1 was released), Season 3 is getting closer and closer to Tom’s wedding anniversary (no!) and also to Jessie’s best friend Kate’s (always amazing). Stath rents apartments Star Emma Sidi) due date, through mishaps and confusion, friendship failures, average dates, above average dates, major life choices, minor life choices. Despite all of this, Tom and Jessie are still trying to overcome their lingering feelings for each other and embark on a risky “bad idea, right?” While her affection for her new partners Clem (Constance Labbé) and Liam (vigil Star Lorne MacFadyen).

Unlike the Season 2 “Won’t They?” production, the series places Jessie and Tom in a future, possibly without each other as partners, evoking some of Matafeo’s best work – no one sells “I’m Fine.” I’m so, so fine. I’m fine… wow, am I actually fine? huh Sweet. like this. And as Jessie and Tom figure it all out, the show’s writing style is as relatable and essentially human as ever. As Mashable’s Anna Iovine writes, “The longing for a previous, comfortable relationship can arise when you start to meet other people. The dating waters can be rough, to say the least, and you may wonder if your previous relationship was that bad.”

I have a sneaking suspicion Struck by the stars Season 3 will somewhat divide longtime viewers as we fell so much in love with Jessie and Tom as the culmination of the ultimate romance display, with not one but two happy endings to wrap up seasons 1 and 2. But this season Starstruck will make it challenge the soul mate in romantic comedy that only one person is allowed in our heroine’s story and that all things must resolve as they always do.

Rose Matafeo and Lorne MacFadyen stroll arm in arm through the woods on the TV show "Struck by the stars"

Credit: BBC/Avalon UK

Season 3 is about the pressure to feel less “moved on”.

One of the key themes of season three is all too relatable for people like me in my mid-30s – the part where everyone in their life starts buying houses, getting married and having kids. Starstruck acknowledges this early in the series with Jessie’s best friend Kate telling her solemnly, “Just because everyone else is getting engaged, getting married and moving on to the next phase in their lives doesn’t mean you should fancy it in any way.” Failure.

But it is not so easy to avoid thinking. What Struck by the stars makes his protagonist feel all that pressure and then reminds the audience and Jessie that most of us are actually fine in the end. In a truly season-stealing moment from Jessie’s immediate family friend Amelia (played by co-writer Snedden) on a little-attended birthday, Jessie gets a brutal reality check that I had injected into my veins through the screen:

“You need to pull yourself together and stop being a little bitch. I’m sorry, but your life is actually not that bad. It runs fine. You have a house, a job. You look good, no one will.” stare. You’re not even such a bad person. Just appreciate what you have while you have it.”


"Struck by the stars" Co-writers Alice Snedden and Rose Matafeo sit together in a pub on the TV show, with Matafeo's head in their heads.

That scene ended me: Starstruck co-writers Alice Snedden and Rose Matafeo.
Credit: BBC/Avalon UK

Starstruck Season 3 gives its characters room to screw up and make up

Like other stunning female-led British series like Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s flea bag, Aisling Beas Up this way, or Billie Piper and Lucy Prebble i hate suzieMatafeos Struck by the stars has always and will continue to royally screw up her protagonist, only to then either own her or fix her. Each and every one of us is capable of making mistakes, hurting the people we love, and being royal assholes to our friends just like Jessie does in season 3. Amidst the frenzied tension and high “delicacy” of having to be an adult, when Jessie wakes up in the presence of an ex, she’s allowed to mix things up completely while staying practical and confident at the same time. Two things can be true at the same time.

By season three, Matafeo and Sneddon have created a living, breathing world where characters are armed to explore the sheer awkwardness of dating, love and friendships in everyday life Struck by the starsis an excellent supporting cast – from Jessie’s no-nonsense best friend Kate to Tom’s comic book villain Kath (Minnie Driver) and her deeply pensive, perpetually anxious sidekick Joe (Joe Barnes). The series also avoids the danger of turning Tom’s famous fiancé Clem into a throwaway villain, instead allowing Labbé to develop a differentiated character that you wouldn’t actually want to see hurt.

An indescribably sweet and perceptive ode to confusion and choosing a path Struck by the stars Season 3 is a victory lap for Matafeo after developing her characters through years of real-time story and crime fiction. We’ve loved this show for three seasons now, honey, and we want them all.

Struck by the stars Season 3 is streaming now on BBC iPlayer in the UK and on Max from 28 September.

Chrissy Callahan

Chrissy Callahan is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Chrissy Callahan joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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