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6 Reasons Why “Starstruck” Is The Perfect Show To Start The New Year

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Like every child of the Tumblr era, I possess a deep appreciation for the art that is fanfiction, in all its many forms. From Wattpad classics to rookie text post blurbs, I’m quite fond of this particular form of storytelling. In the last decade, fanfiction has really emerged from the shadowy corners of the internet and found itself suddenly mainstream with the widespread popularity of the Fifty Shades trilogy and more recently the After series (has anyone checked in with Harry about those?).

BBC Three / Via Giphy

So understandably, when I (belatedly) came across the BBC Three show Starstruck on HBO Max, I had to drop everything — including the story I was working on — to watch one of my favorite fanfic tropes play out in true rom-com style.  

Starstruck stars (and was created by) New Zealand comedian Rose Matafeo, who plays Jessie, an average millennial living in London, working at a movie theater and as a (questionable) nanny, living with her quirky but loveable best friend. While she’s out with the aforementioned bestie/housemate, she has a drunken bathroom meet-cute with Tom (Nikesh Patel, Four Weddings and a Funeral), who unbeknownst to Jessie (despite her film-adjacent gig) is a famous movie star.

Jessie and Tom sitting at a bar next to one another in Starstruck

Mark Johnson/HBO Max

What follows is an amusing one-night stand that kicks off a plot comedically akin to everyone’s favorite Y/N insert-style fanfiction. And I promise, it does not disappoint.  

Here are six reasons why Starstruck should be at the top of your 2022 watchlist (or re-watch list, for those that caught this gem back in April 2021 when it first came out):


If you remember the 2010 Disney Channel Original Movie of the same name and perhaps, like me, remained obsessed with it well past the age-appropriate time to do so, then Starstruck is 100% for you.

Disney / Via We Heart It

It’s basically Disney Channel’s StarStruck, if it were made for adults and starred adults with much cooler accents…or, for those of you who didn’t have the Disney Channel growing up, if you loved the 1999 film Notting Hill, then you’re already on your way to falling in love with this series.


Starstruck gives you all the semi-fantasy fanfic tropes your heart desires, but still fills the world with enough realism that it never feels outside the realm of possibility.


Tom and Jessie don’t just magically fall in love and get together right away, and, in fact, months go by between their encounters sometimes. Plus, Jessie’s life is a mess. And not in a cute, quirky, utter fantasy kind of way. She can’t sort out her schedule or finances, she doesn’t enjoy either of her jobs, even without Tom in the mix, her love life is a total rollercoaster, and at no point in time does the gorgeous and wealthy movie star she’s crushing on offer to swoop in and save her from any of these things. Not that I wouldn’t mind a little swooping at a later point in time in the series… but the lack of it in Season 1 was admittedly refreshing.  


And speaking of Tom and his lack of savior behavior, Starstruck never portrays him as your typical fanfic-style celebrity love interest.

HBO Max / Via Giphy

The show never lets his fame and fortune get to Jessie’s head in any real way. Beyond point-blank asking him the price of random, expensive looking objects in his bedroom, pointing out to Tom how privileged he is to be sent tons of free things, and dropping his name to her friends as a point of general amusement, Jessie isn’t swayed in the slightest by his celebrity status. She finds his throngs of fans irritating and most of the films he stars in to be mediocre at best, and she’s never afraid to say those things straight to Tom’s face.


Rose and Nikesh are a breath of hilariously fresh air and I’d be happy to have them to star opposite each other in every single rom-com I will inevitably be watching in 2022.

BBC Three / Via Giphy

Jessie and Tom have outrageous chemistry that shines through every single scene, whether it’s just the two of them in an adorably tense stand-off, or they’re unwillingly stuck in some big chaotic group situation. You just can’t help but root for them right from their first bumpy and awkwardly charming encounter.


The show is loudly sex positive in a genuinely refreshing way.

BBC Three / Via Giphy

From an extremely verbal consent-filled first time for Tom and Jessie to a joyous dance montage following Jessie’s one-night stand with someone who she openly declares she’ll likely never see again, the show simultaneously celebrates sex as a fun, funny subject while still emphasizing the importance of consent in a way that seems inherently right for the story.


And finally, the show’s seasonal style makes it perfect for this time of year.

Jessie and Kate decorating a Christmas tree in Starstruck

Mark Johnson/HBO Max

The events of Season 1 take place over the course of an entire year, beginning with New Year’s Eve and ending with the Christmas season. This format is a fun way to remind yourself of all the good things that can happen in just 12 months. So if you’re manifesting something big for 2022, romance-based or otherwise, I’d say this show is totally suitable to watch in bed on New Year’s Day.

For all these reasons and more, Starstruck is a great way to start 2022 off with a rom-com-esque bang.

BBC Three / Via Giphy

And don’t worry, HBO Max has already confirmed we’re getting a Season 2 (relatively) soon!

You can watch the first season of Starstruck on HBO Max. Stream this and countless other TV shows and movies for just $9.99 a month with an ad-supported plan or go ad-free for $14.99 a month.

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