Ava DuVernay's Netflix drama series 'When They See Us' absolutely deserves all its 16 Emmy nominations
DuVernay gives the Central Park Five a chance to get their narratives out to the world and the show captures the pain, the confusion, the naiveness and the helplessness of the characters brilliantly
The 2019 Emmy Award nominations were announced officially on Tuesday, and of the many shows that made the cut, Ava DuVernay's American drama miniseries, 'When They See Us' has been nominated for 'Outstanding Limited Series' along with 'Chernobyl' (HBO), 'Escape at Dannemora' (Showtime), 'Fosse/Verdon' (FX) and 'Sharp Objects' (HBO).
The Netflix show is a four-part dramatization of the 'Central Park Five', a moniker that stuck to the five Harlem teenagers arrested (wrongly) in 1989 for the rape and attempted murder of Trisha Meili, a 28-year-old investment banker, who was jogging at the time in the park.
Over the course of the series, DuVernay makes no attempt to reinvestigate the case, but rather depicts the lives of five individuals whose identities take a serious hit and leaves them scarred for life.
Now, the series has joined the other heavyweights in the 'Limited Series' category and it doesn't come as a surprise. The series topped off at a staggering 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and received positive acclaim for its performances and casting. Speaking of the cast, it is also worth mentioning that 'Moonlight' star Jharrel Jerome, who plays Korey Wise, one of the lead characters on the show, has also been nominated for the category 'Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie'.
Jerome dishes out a stellar performance as a kid who is constantly on the edge. The final episode swings with Korey's moods, between solitary confinement and slivers of hope. This probably is enough to surmise that Jerome is a worthy contender to walk away with the Emmy for the Lead Actor.
The series in the meantime is as stunning as it can get. The emotions have been captured brilliantly and it pains to see what the characters are subjected to in the four-episode docu-drama. The 1980s is reconstructed with some brilliant attention to detail, and DuVernay gives the five a chance to get their narratives out in the world.
'When They See Us' may not be gory, but captures the pain, the confusion, the naiveness and the helplessness of the main actors brilliantly. The final sequence is so antagonizing and unsparing that it becomes difficult to watch, even if it means that the five finally get their freedom.
The highly-watched series has also given Netflix the most nominations with a whopping 16 Emmy nods. DuVernay took to Twitter to thank the cast for all the hard work they had put in for the show. "Thank you to the real men for inviting me to tell their story," DuVernay wrote. "Thank you @TelevisionAcad for honoring the work. Saluting every single crew and cast member. And saluting Raymond, Korey, Antron, Yusef, and Kevin. Love you, brothers."
The 2019 Emmy Awards will air on September 22 on Fox.