‘Starstruck’ Season 3 Review: Unexpected, but Still Fantastic

Starstruck Season 3 poster, featuring Jessie, Tom, and all their friends.

Starstruck Season 3 veers away from the romance, but it’s still a love story, a bit more akin to Fleabag this season than a heartfelt comedy. It’s a true testament to Rose Matafeo’s striking abilities as a writer who manages to tell an authentic, profoundly relatable story with storylines many people won’t experience in their lifetimes. Starstruck was always a bit of a far-fetched idea—the celebrity trope/normal person always tends to be—but this season brings nuance and range to it.

The season celebrates all forms of love by placing friendships centerfold and digging into unraveling the importance of platonic relationships. This is where the dichotomy in fictional romances becomes so fascinating to explore because traditional publishing in the genre would loathe where this season went. We can’t call Starstruck Season 3 a romance because there’s no happy ending for our core couple, but we also can’t dismiss the fact that it’s a love story still. And more than anything, it’s how Jessie’s growth comes to the surface that’s so beautifully rewarding to watch.

Starstruck Season 3 Memorably Dives Deep Into Platonic Relationships

Emma Sidi and Rose Matafeo in Starstruck Season 3 while Kate gives birth.
©Mark Johnson/Max

An enduring partnership between two people is profoundly important, but there’s much to be said about friendships and their lack of recognition in the media. For this reason, what Starstruck Season 3 does deserves credit where it’s due. Everyone has their person, and for Jessie, her person isn’t Tom, it’s Kate (Emma Sidi). The season takes time to showcase the test of friendships at different points in their lives in order to shine a light on what endurance looks like. Kate’s wedding and pregnancy are vast parts of the narrative arc, and Matafeo ensures the storytelling feels real. The series consistently asks questions—it probes its characters to look inward to allow them the space to understand what they want out of life.

Ultimately, no one ever really has it all together, especially not millennials and this is precisely why Starstruck Season 3 is so great, even if it’s a little upsetting. As much as some days we want an escape from our real lives, other times, it’s riveting to know that we aren’t the only “failures.” Because that’s not the case for any of us, and that’s certainly not the case for any of these characters, no matter how different their lives.

It’s also fascinating that the series gracefully dives into heavy topics like kids or no kids, but it does so in a way that effectively brings human complexities to the forefront. There’s something about how Apple TV+’s Trying and Starstruck are such rare gems right now, and it’s the detail that they both surround the same age group in London, living completely different lives, with writers that care about the stories they’re telling. In a nutshell, the latest season, albeit heartbreaking at times, is a remarkable testament to Rose Matafeo’s writing abilities and star power. Her performances as Jesse are consistently raw and incredibly organic, making the story worth its salt because she’s the kind of heroine we want to continue following. And as the series tests Jessie and Kate, they’re better for it in the end. 

Romantic Relationships Are Still a Big Part of the Series

Jessie and Liam walking in the woods together in Starstruck Season 3.
©Mark Johnson/Max

Starstruck Season 3 might not feature the romance everyone wants to see between Tom and Jessie, but romantic relationships are still an organic part of the story. As we finally see Kate and Ian (Al Roberts) get married, we also see Jessie date someone else, a Scottish man named Liam (Lorne MacFadyen). And their relationship is very much a pleasant one, even if he’s still technically “the other guy.” In more ways than one, Liam is the perfect fit for Jessie, with matching humor and the kind of life that won’t require them to be frequently long-distance. 

It’s hard to tell where the series will end and whether this is indeed the conclusion of Tom and Jessie’s romance. The feelings are clearly still there by the final episode, but so is the potential for a strong friendship. If the montage followed by the time jump shows us anything, it’s that the two of them have made an impact on one another. The slow unveiling of their lives outside of each other further exhibits the individual growth they’ve gone through as characters. Still, if nothing else, Starstruck Season 3 is a love letter to endurance, with brilliant performances from Rose Matafeo, leading to a hopeful conclusion that underscores the importance of acknowledging love in all its forms. It showcases what it means to remain in people’s lives, even when they might be different from our own, and it’s still thoroughly hilarious despite the heavier themes.

Starstruck Season 3 is now streaming on Max.


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