I wasn’t what you would call a ‘fan’ of The Big Bang Theory, and I kept putting off the idea of a possible binge on Young Sheldon for as long as possible. While this has no implication of my sense of admiration for all things developed by Chuck Lorre (Disjointed by Lorre was in my opinion, at best a needle in the haystack for dissident comedy), I just refrained from most origin stories on general principle – they’re almost never good.
Well, Young Sheldon is an exception.
I stumbled upon the series in a frantic search for some good old kind-hearted comedy on my new subscription to Amazon Prime Video (I was reasonably tired from painful searches for good comedy on Netflix), and got hooked immediately. The first point of discovery was a Facebook promo clip that showed Young Sheldon Lee Cooper argue with a pastor about the estimations in probability that allow us to believe in god, and a chance encounter with the first episode shortly thereafter had me sold on the comic genius of an otherwise perfectly designed family comedy-drama.
The wonderful sense of camaraderie between young Sheldon Cooper and his twin sister Missy is simply too adorable to boot. Aided by a plethora of affectionate moments that will keep you in splits, Young Sheldon also introduces us to an eccentric but pragmatic ‘MeeMaw’, the maternal grandmother who had a strong influence on Sheldon’s perception of lies and human behavior in his growing up years.
In a line that I absolutely loved, little Sheldon Cooper says ‘I don’t believe in god’. He explains that he still relents to the idea of going to church every Sunday and saying grace before every meal, because he believes in his mother instead.
Sheldon’s quick rise through the ranks of academic misadventures, although not as meteoric as we would expect from the man who eventually gets a Ph.D at 16, is explained through the acceptance and celebration of his statistical genius as applied to the training strategy of his high-school’s football team, where his father serves as head coach. Sheldon’s adventures are also lined neatly along the lines of pre-teen discovery of the concepts of forgery, cheating, laziness, and how his OCD-inflicted mind deals with these issues, is warm and laudable.