How many times can Starstruck play out a version of the same storyline, with some tweaks here and there? Girl meets boy; or, in some cases, is reunited with boy. Sparks fly. They go home together. Everything is magical. But slowly, and unbeknownst to the happy couple, the relationship starts to fray. They push one another apart. Thankfully, right before the final episode, the pair has an epiphany: They’re meant to be together. With minutes to spare before the season concludes, they race into each other’s arms—love, at long last.
The answer is as many times as Starstruck wants. I will gladly watch Jessie (Rose Matafeo) and Tom (Nikesh Patel) on a romantic comedy loop, because the show is so masterful and comforting that originality no longer matters. In its third season on Max, Starstruck goes above and beyond the rom-com magic we’ve come to expect—we get those same rom-com beats (the meet cute, the reunion, the will-they-won’t-they) with some fresh storylines threaded into the mix. Starstruck needn’t do anything beyond giving me some banter between Jessie and Tom, but because it is a perfect (yes, perfect!) rom-com series, it offers up even more—Heartbreak! Rain soaked confessions! Adorable side characters!—than just that.
Starstruck Season 3 begins like the two seasons that came before it: average woman Jessie and actor superstar Tom are dating. Thank god they’ve found each other. In a montage—another rom-com element, another “Hallelujah!” from me screaming in delight at my “telly”—we see Tom and Jessie cohabitating. Giggly tooth brushing, snuggles in bed, that famous banter…love is real, guys. Until it isn’t, because Tom is busy with work, now they’re fighting more and more, and the relationship simply isn’t working out.