Full disclosure: I didn’t watch “Young Sheldon,” the new, awesome CBS comedy, until two weeks ago. When new shows come on during the baseball playoffs, I don’t always pay them the proper attention they need. Luckily, my library snagged a copy of the first season of this show this past August and I was first in line to get it on DVD.
I’m halfway through season one and I can already say it’s one of my favorite shows on TV right now. Based off of the hit series “The Big Bang Theory,” “Young Sheldon” tells the story of Sheldon Cooper, the extremely detail-oriented, socially awkward physicist as a nine-year-old boy growing up in Texas. Not having seen most of the parent series, I didn’t know much about Sheldon or his family besides the fact that he grew up in the 1980s. I also presumed that even then, not everyone understood him. This last bit was exactly why I was interested in the show in the first place. I’ve always loved a fish out of water story and I thought “Young Sheldon” would be no exception. I was right, but there was more. There always is.
1. Follow the spin-off rule: A spin-off should always compliment the parent show, not try to BE it. The reason I’m not into “Fuller House” isn’t that it’s a spin-off. It’s that I feel it’s trying too hard to be a show that hasn’t been on for twenty plus years. A spin-off shouldn’t try to be exactly like its predecessor, but instead compliment it by charting its own course. “Young Sheldon” cuts out most of the “Big Bang” cast members because it is set in 1989. Aside from Jim Parsons, who periodically does voiceovers during the show, the cast is completely new, including MeeMaw (played in younger years by Annie Potts).
2. The Plot. While the plot of “The Big Bang Theory” mainly revolves around a group of physicists and their friends, “Young Sheldon” is all about the Cooper family: Mom (Zoe Perry), Dad (Lance Barber), Georgie (Montana Jordan), twins Sheldon (Iain Armitage) and Missy (Raegan Revord) and MeeMaw (Annie Potts). The family dynamic of the show, along with its 1980s setting, is what really drew me in. It’s so different from the original one, which is one of the things it has going for it. I like the idea of exploring the various experiences Sheldon’s family members had with him as he grew into the person we love on “The Big Bang Theory.” Additionally, it is fun to see how much things have changed with regard to education, children’s TV shows (“DuckTales,” anyone?) and people’s general perceptions of being different.
3. Different. I truly think this is a show that celebrates differences of the people in our lives. Each character is unique and, true to “Big Bang” form, they never apologize for it. Perhaps my favorite characters (other than Sheldon) are Georgie and Missy. Georgie has the um, unenviable task of going to school with super-smart Sheldon, even though he’s years older. Georgie is all about football and just skating by in school, whereas Sheldon wants to succeed (and correct others when they are wrong). Georgie perhaps knows he’s not going to be the best or the brightest, so he instead settles on getting into a little mischief. Sheldon on the other hand would rather stay away from any trouble and preferably, away from Georgie. Missy just wants to be nine years old and watch cartoons—and maybe party a little. She’s all about fun and she doesn’t want Sheldon to ruin things for her. To Sheldon, she’s a bit of an airhead, but he likes her all the same (see S1E10). The differences we all have aren’t necessarily positive or negative, sometimes they’re just part of being human.
4. Sheldon has some great parents. They don’t pretend to know it all, but they’re sure as heck going to try. Mom Mary must not be crossed when it comes to religion. Sheldon is an atheist. Dad, George Sr., loves football and would love it if Sheldon did too, but that’s probably never happening. Sheldon is a very square peg that will not fit into their round hole of a family. Do they worry about it? Yes. Almost every episode is wired around something Sheldon must do differently. Their other children often complain about how much special treatment “Shelly” gets. This is the reality of having an exceptional (some have said Aspergian, though it’s not confirmed) child in the family. The other reality is, at least for Sheldon, there’s a loving family behind him all the way. They just don’t show it all the time.
5. MeeMaw. Honestly, Annie Potts steals the show as MeeMaw. We can tell from the start that Sheldon loves her almost, if not more than, his mom. She sees who he really is, doesn’t try to fix him and generally loves hanging out with him. That’s not something Sheldon really sees a lot. He has one friend at school. He eats lunch in the library. But MeeMaw is someone he can always talk to. She’s someone who really makes him smile and lets him shine. In addition, most, if not all of her lines are hilarious. Sheldon and his siblings might not understand her all the time, but MeeMaw is truly a hoot. And they will understand one day. 😉
Now that you’ve heard Five Reasons I’m Loving “Young Sheldon” right now, go ahead and see what all the fuss is about. Or, if you have watched the show, be sure to comment down below on how you feel. Thanks for reading!