Starstruck – Review

Worth seeing: as a generally entertaining, odd-couple rom-com that feels a little less convincing and coherent, the longer it goes on
Featuring:Nikesh Patel, Rose Matafeo, Al Roberts, Alice Snedden, Ambreen Razia, Edward Easton, Emma Sidi, Janie Booth, Joe Barnes, John Simm, Jon Pointing, Lola-Rose Maxwell, Lorne MacFadyen, Minnie Driver, Nadia Parkes, Nic Sampson, Parth Thakerar, Russell Tovey, Sindhu Vee, Vincent Ebrahim
Key crew:Jamie Jay Johnson, Karen Maine, Claire McCarthy, Toby Welch, Alice Snedden, Nic Sampson, Rose Matafeo
Channel:BBC iPlayer, BBC3
Length:22 mins minutes
Episodes:3 seasons of 6 episodes
Broadcast date:S1 25th April 2021, S2 7th February 2022, S3 28th August 2023 2023


Jessie (Rose Matafeo) works in a cinema – not in cinema, as someone mishears at a party. She works in A cinema, selling tickets and popcorn.

One evening, she’s out with her flatmate Kate (Emma Sidi); Kate hooks up with Ian (Al Roberts) and she hooks up with Tom (Nikesh Patel).

When Jessie wakes up the next morning in Tom’s flat, she notices a film poster with his face on it; it turns out she’s just had a one-night-stand with a Hollywood star.

But will it be just a one-night-stand or could it lead to a relationship? Starstruck is a classic will-they-won’t-they rom-com. Spread across three series.


It’s a promising enough premise – after what the industry might call a meet-cute, a cinema worker sleeps with cinema star and then – well – that’s what we are meant to want to find out.

The toing and froing of their on-off relationship is generally entertaining, although it’s driven – often – by one or other of them – usually the show’s creator Rose Matafeo’s Jessie – doing something so wildly unreasonable, that it’s astonishing that a Hollywood star such as Nikesh Patel’s Tom would stick around.

The way they bicker, sometimes, feels like the two main characters in Normal People, seeming to be constantly doing their best to push each other away.

But the odd-couple relationship often provides a lot of humour – not least from the ragtag bag of flat-mates, friends, colleagues and wannabe love interests.

The first series is the best, as it explores its relatively original concept with a freshness we don’t often see – although it’s a bit of a stress that someone who works in a cinema and clearly knows film backwards doesn’t recognise the man she’s having a fling with until she sees his face on a film poster.

Season two is also strong, as the relationship ebbs and flows, with each of them trying and failing to move on.

But Season three almost feels like the odd one out. While the underlying will-they-won’t-they rumbles on in the background, there’s something altogether different going on in this series which seems to undermine the whole premise of the show.

There’s plenty of sharp and snappy humour and Jessie is fun to spend time with – as a viewer, at least – but while Starstruck remains entertaining – as it progresses, it’s decreasingly convincing – and the plot is always shaken up by behaviour which suggests that if the ending is to be accepted, you might feel you’ve wasted a lot of your time.