Freddie Highmore has never been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award. When you think about his contributions to the field of television the past ten years, the fact of this is simply appalling. Think about the work he did as Norman Bates on Bates Motel, and then think about some of his current work as a part of The Good Doctor. He did receive a Golden Globe nomination for playing Shaun Murphy back in season 1, but to date, that’s the extent of it when it comes to the two largest TV-based awards shows.
We don’t know if there is a universe where you can look at Freddie’s performance on this past season of the ABC drama and think that he is anything other than worthy — supremely worthy, in fact. What he did as Shaun in some of these episodes is the stuff of TV legend. It alternated at times between heartbreaking and hopeful as Shaun struggled with the limitations put on him by autism — in particular, how others chose to perceive him.
For some further discussion of where The Good Doctor can go from here, check out our season 3 speculation video at the bottom of this article! After you check that out, remember to subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube and also view our official The Good Doctor playlist. It’s the #1 way to ensure you don’t miss any updates.
For the sake of stating Highmore’s exemplary Emmy case, let’s choose to specifically shine a light on a number of moments here that really should be remembered.
I am a surgeon – This sequence with Daniel Dae Kim was Shaun at his most intense — and also most painful. He was so desperate to get the job back that he was properly trained for that he was willing to put everything on the line, including his own career at the St. Bonaventure Hospital. This was the moment in which he lost everything, but also the moment that helped you to realize how much being a surgeon meant to him. It was Highmore as an actor taking his role to a different decibel and tone that we’re used to hearing from him; meanwhile, Kim played this perfectly in having Dr. Jackson Han remain fairly levelheaded, which only infuriated Shaun more.
Basically, any scene with Richard Schiff – You can make the argument that every bit of work the two have done has been nothing short of magic, but in particular the evolution of this friendship in season 2. Highmore played Shaun as a man at first adrift, struggling with his mentor’s mortality and how he was going to move forward with his life in such disarray. The beauty of these scenes became watching Shaun come to grips with Glassman’s diagnosis, and then also beyond that, understanding further just what Aaron needed — a friend. Freddie pushed the evolution here at a steady pace, working to make sure that the transition wasn’t too rapid and over time, we got to see warmer notes for Shaun as he figured out how to help Aaron in just about every way he knew how.
The scenes in the finale – Highmore here really showcased the full extent of his range, giving you at some moments extreme pain (his life, after all, was in some jeopardy after the fight) coupled then with extreme joy after he asked Carly out on a date in the closing minutes. This is where the hopeful side of Shaun is important and why Highmore excels so much at taking some individual moments and drawing so much emotion from them. He knew how important it would be for viewers to see Shaun ask out Carly, just like he also understood the value in him getting the job back. It’s a part of the reason why he made the hindrances so dark and so painful; it makes the light shine even brighter.
In between his scenes with Paige Spara or his work with individual patients, it does still feel like there are more arguments to be made over why Freddie Highmore deserves some Emmy love — if you’ve been watching the show, you already know that. If you’re not watching — this is your time to catch up. Freddie is an actor who has been doing beautiful work on the show for a while, and we’re at a point now where most people within this industry really should be recognizing it. The only things holding him back are the things out of his control, whether it be voters ignoring network TV or medical dramas not getting the proper respect as a whole.
Want some more news on The Good Doctor season 3?
Then be sure to head over to this link, which is where you can see a lot of our character spotlights! Meanwhile, be sure to share in the comments if you believe that Freddie Highmore is more than deserving of some Emmy love. (Photo: ABC.)