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Recommended: Starstruck Season 2 on HBO Max

In its sophomore run, Rose Matafeo's acclaimed comedy explores what happens after the grand romantic gesture.
  • Rose Matafeo and Nikesh Patel in Starstruck Season 2 (Photo: HBO Max)
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    Starstruck Season 2 | HBO Max
    Half-Hour Romantic Comedy (Six Episodes) | TV-MA

    What's new and what's changed?

    After a year of missed opportunities, Jessie, an aimless 20-something, and Tom, a famous movie star, attempt to make their relationship work, to mixed results.

    Who's Involved?

    • Creator Rose Matafeo plays Jessie, a New Zealand native living in Hackney, London who has a one-night stand with a stranger who turns out to be a movie star.
    • Nikesh Patel (Four Weddings and a Funeral) is Tom Kapoor, an A-list actor who falls for Jessie over the course of one tumultuous year.
    • British actress and comedian Emma Sidi adds an outside perspective as Kate, Jessie’s best friend and roommate.
    • Edward Easton (Porters) plays Jessie’s ex-boyfriend Ben, whose presence complicates Jessie and Tom’s relationship.
    • Oscar nominee Minnie Driver makes a special guest appearance in the role of Cath, Tom’s domineering agent.

    Why (and to whom) do we recommend it?

    When Starstruck debuted last year, it immediately drew comparisons to Notting Hill, Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant’s 1999 romantic comedy about the romance between a London bookseller and an American movie star. Beyond the obvious plot similarities, Starstruck’s first season captured the endearing, witty nature of Notting Hill, and it successfully brought the film’s screwball comedy tropes into the 2020s with diverse characters and modern-day obstacles. But if Starstruck’s first season was about embracing rom-com conventions, Season 2 is about transcending them. The comedy’s sophomore outing is just as heartfelt and hilarious as before, but it elevates its game as it explores what happens after the grand romantic gesture. Is love enough to sustain a relationship between two people from entirely different walks of life?

    Starstruck offers a clear answer to this question — no spoilers — but getting to that point is just as entertaining the second time around. After Jessie (Rose Matafeo) chooses to stay in London for Tom (Nikesh Patel), she’s immediately confronted by the financial and emotional implications of her decision, which continue to weigh on her throughout the six-episode second season. This downward spiral requires more of Matafeo, who played up Jessie’s eccentricities in Season 1, but the creator and star is up to the challenge of teasing out her character’s vulnerability.

    As Jessie flails about, Tom plays the straight man, working tirelessly to stabilize both his relationship and his career after starring in a box office flop. A-list stars are inherently unrelatable, but Patel continues to bring a lovable, neurotic energy to Tom, lending an air of believability to this unlikely pairing. Patel’s character is further fleshed out in a Christmas-set episode that introduces viewers to his parents and brother Vinay (Parth Thakerar), who proves to be a thorn in Tom’s side at various points throughout the season.

    For romantic comedy lovers, Starstruck is must-see TV — and at six, 25-minute episodes, it’s an easy lift. If you missed out on this critically-acclaimed rom-com last year, now is the time to check it out.

    Pairs well with

    • Love Life (HBO Max), an anthology series that also plays with romantic comedy tropes.
    • Four Weddings and a Funeral (Hulu), Mindy Kaling’s TV adaptation of Richard Curtis’ film starring Nikesh Patel.
    • Feel Good (Netflix), Mae Martin’s semi-autobiographical comedy that similarly probes the limits of love.

  • Starstruck (Season 2)
    Complete second season drops Thursday, March 24 on HBO Max.
    Created by: Rose Matafeo.
    Starring: Rose Matafeo, Nikesh Patel, Emma Sidi, Minnie Driver, and Edward Easton.
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    TOPICS: Starstruck, HBO Max, Edward Easton, Emma Sidi, Minnie Driver, Nikesh Patel, Rose Matafeo, Rose Matafeo