Why You Should Be Watching Starstruck
It’s not every day I stumble upon greatness, but one fateful weekend afternoon, I did just that. As I laid on my couch and aimlessly scrolled for something new to watch, I decided to let fate lend a hand. I accessed a feature on my streaming device that provides a list of media that is recommended for me based on my watching habits. And that is how I found Starstruck. Billed to me as a series about what happens in a romantic comedy movie after the camera stops rolling, I knew I was intrigued. I binge-watched the whole thing, and it was so much better than I could have ever imagined. Here’s why I think you should watch Starstruck, too.
1The Premise Will Draw You In
Starstruck creator and writer Rose Matafeo stars as unlikely and nontraditional romantic comedy lead Jessie. The show opens at a bar on New Year’s Eve where Jessie, clad in a fun and festive sequin number, is third wheeling on her friend’s date. A decently tipsy Jessie meets Tom (Nikesh Patel) while using the men’s restroom. After exchanging some fun, witty banter, the two go home together for what Jessie expects to be a typical one-night fling, only for her to wake up the next morning to discover that she has just slept with one of the most famous actors in the world.
The beginning of the season sees Jessie and Tom navigating a budding yet complicated romance when they find themselves unable to deny their chemistry and just downright liking of each other. I won’t go into much more detail to avoid spoiling the show. And, lucky for you, the series already has two seasons out on the streamer. (Fingers crossed for a third.)
2The Diverse Cast Is Relatable and Hilarious
First, there’s lead actor, creator, and writer Rose Matafeo, who is hilarious and instantly likable. Matafeo is curvier than your typical romantic lead, which is refreshing in itself, and she comes from a diverse background: Her father is Samoan and her mother is Scottish and Croatian. She infuses Jessie with just the right amount of self-depreciation mixed with confidence. She is charismatic and, even when she’s making some decisions that are less than great, you can’t help but root for her. I found myself laughing out loud during pretty much every scene, and that was due to Matafeo’s comedic skills, timing, and delivery.
As an Indian woman, I was excited to see that the male romantic lead is played by an Indian man, Nikesh Patel. Patel does a great job of meeting Matafeo’s often manic energy with a calm yet bemused performance of his own. With his humor and vulnerability, Patel is able to find relatability even when playing someone who is supposed to be a rich and famous actor.
3The Leads Have Undeniable Chemistry
The two have the kind of chemistry that is rarely found but often sought in a romantic comedy pairing — the kind of chemistry that takes something from good to great. The plot itself does something new with a conceit that has been explored before — hello, Notting Hill: What if a regular person and a famous actor fall in love? What are the real practicalities and obstacles that would go into making it work? Instead of romanticizing the whole idea, Starstruck actually gives us an idea of what pursuing that relationship could look like in real life, warts and all. This makes the show often go from hilarious to poignant all in one episode.
I’m not alone in my adoration for Starstruck — the series currently holds a 96% “Fresh” rating on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes.
4It’s a Show for Smart, Modern Women
Starstruck takes the conceit of a traditional romantic comedy and turns it on its head. It’s smart, with well-written and relatable female characters. Honestly, it's a show any modern woman should be watching. It’s important to support female creators who are writing realistic and nontraditional heroines. With our support, we can help to reshape society and its tired views of women to help all women thrive. Aren’t you tired of the same cookie-cutter characters, shows, and depictions of women? I know I am.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a show that will make you belly-laugh, with clever writing and likable characters, Starstruck is for you. If you want to watch a show with nontraditional, diverse leads, Starstruck is for you. If you love romantic comedies, I’m telling you, Starstruck is for you. Please, please watch Starstruck. You won't be disappointed.