Emmy Hopefuls: Should Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams get more attention?

Jesse WilliamsIn today’s edition of our ongoing Emmy Hopefuls series, we’re putting the focus on a show in Grey’s Anatomy that, over time, has not received enough recognition. In particular, we are writing about that through the lens of Jesse Williams and the character of Dr. Jackson Avery.

Throughout the series, we’ve see multiple dimensions of Jackson as a character, whether it be his determination as a doctor, the care that he shows that his patients, and also the struggles that he is perpetually under. This is a man who has been forced for the better part of his life to deal with almost-constant attention because of his last name, while also jealousy and frustration from other doctors. He’s seen relationships crumble and also struggle to keep his own life together.

At the center of every struggle this season for Jackson was Williams, who found a way to make every situation for Jackson believable. While he takes on strong, dramatic material with power and charisma — just look at what he did with the story about racial inequality in law enforcement as one example — he also really shined in some tender moments. His final scenes with Sarah Drew were beautiful and there was strong comedic material with Kelly McCreary, as well.

Jackson’s story through Grey’s Anatomy has never been a straight line — this is a character who constantly has had to adjust to the world around him while also dealing with arguably more oversight than just about anyone. Yet, through it all, Jesse has shown nuance, determination, and plenty of heart so that you understand the character’s worldview. We’ve seen the softer side but also reminders of why he’s ended up where he is in the Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Season 15 was a standout year for him as a performer — and, he also got to flex some directing muscles, as well. (We know that we’re writing more about his performance, but we still feel like it is very much worth noting nonetheless.)

Does he have a genuine shot at a nomination? – We’d love to see it happen in the Supporting Actor category, but at the same time we do have a certain awareness of the way this often goes for long-running network shows. After a few seasons on the air, they have a tendency to be ignored. That’s a shame, especially given the sheer amount of hours and manpower that goes into making a series like this. Can you really imagine just how difficult it is to maintain a character a good three-quarters of a year and make new discoveries with them? The work Williams put into Jackson was extraordinary this season, swapping between comedy, drama, and so much more on a fairly regular basis. It still remains a shock that he hasn’t scored a single nomination from a major awards show.

Related Be sure to see some other editions in our Emmy Hopefuls series

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