Name: Young Sheldon
With the Big Bang Theory concluded after a fantastic run of comedy, Young Sheldon continues our laughs, giving us the coming of age story of the weird and wonderful Sheldon Cooper. Sheldon at age nine is living in Texas, with a tale or two to share, giving us plenty of heart and comedic moments. Will Young Sheldon be as popular and successful as The Big Bang Theory? Only time will tell.
The series follows Sheldon as a child (Iain Armitage) and his immediate family in East Texas. The house is full of amazing characters, including Sheldon’s tolerant and strongly religious mother, Mary (Zoe Perry), sporty but lazy football coach father, George (Lance Barber), his idiot older brother Georgie (Montana Jordan) and his twin sister Missy, (Raegan Revord). The series opens with the first day of High School for Sheldon, being in the same year as his older brother Georgie. Sheldon struggles to connect with his siblings and is obviously the odd one of the family. Similar to the Sheldon we know from Big Bang Theory, he is socially unaware and insults others without knowing, including teachers and staff, and that’s where the amusement starts.
Young Sheldon does feel different from its predecessor. While yes, it is still a multi-camera sit-com with short episodes, it has no laugh track, allowing for the moments of silence needed for both the comedic and thoughtful beats. This is very effective during the show’s more touching moments, which is one of the nice surprises – that it isn’t purely concentrated on the comedy.
Though Sheldon is a comical character within himself, his relationships with his parents and family really tug at your emotions. His mother is enormously reassuring, knowing how to navigate his needs and challenges. His relationship with his father isn’t the same, so when we see scenes where they connect gives you a feeling of warmth inside.
The Cooper family are delivered to the audience perfectly, staying away from being over the top and cartoonish for humour. You feel like you can relate to storylines and reactions throughout the seasons. Iain has the biggest challenge, following the characterization which was popularly set up by Jim Parson; he must become his own version without feeling like he’s just a young actor doing an impression. He does this flawlessly making you believe this is actually the young version of Sheldon Cooper.
It is interesting seeing how relationships between Sheldon, the Cooper family and others develop and change throughout the seasons so far. Dropping little Easter Eggs of familiarity we know from the Big Bang Theory, like Professor Proton, gives a sense of illumination on the well-known character Sheldon Cooper.
But Jim Parson isn’t finished with the Sheldon character as he is the narration for the episodes. This is such a lovely antidote for the fans of The Big Bang Theory, giving an amusing connection between both series. Parson is also the Executive Producer, being very hands on creativity wise, and also being there for Iain to answer any questions and help guide him to deliver the Sheldon we all know and love.
Young Sheldon is a series that is highly entertaining for casual watching. I didn’t find myself eagerly waiting for the next episode, but if it was on E4 I’d probably put it on. You don’t really need to be a Big Bang Theory fan to enjoy it either. I hope to see this series going on for many more years as it has so much potential connecting the time from Sheldon’s childhood to where we met him in season one of the Big Bang Theory.