‘Young Sheldon’ brings back old fans with nostalgic feels

April 26, 2019 — by Alan Zu
Photo by CBS

A promotional banner for 'Young Sheldon', a spinoff of the popular "The Big Bang Theory".

A group of three, Sheldon, Raj and Howard, sit on the couch, eyeing each other furiously. The friends are competing to have an authentic ring from “Lord of the Rings” in an an eBay auction. After the three struggle to hold onto the artifact, they fall asleep on the couch. Sheldon, waking up and realizing that only he still holds the ring, shouts in delight, to which the audience bursts out laughing.

“The Big Bang Theory” revolves around a group of “nerds” doing research at famously brainy Caltech, situated in Pasadena. The group mainly enjoys having comic discussions, playing Halo, or fighting over movie artifacts, such as an original Spock figurine.

In many ways, “Young Sheldon,” a show revolving around “The Big Bang Theory’s” main geek’s childhood, is a major success because it is bringing back many old fans and is currently ranked second, according to Deadline, in most watched TV series, behind the Big Bang series.

Young Sheldon takes place in a fictional Texas town called Medford. The main character Sheldon, a 9-year-old genius, who stars in “The Big Bang Theory” as an adult, attends the local high school along with his brother Georgie, who is five years older. Sheldon’s fraternal twin, Missy, studies at the local elementary school.

Iain Armitage, young Sheldon’s actor, successfully copies Jim Parsons, the older Sheldon’s actor. Both portray an innocent, autistic man who can’t distinguish sarcasm from truth, which makes his character lovable to the audience.

Young Sheldon immediately shows his arrogant and bratty nature in the show. Not only does he take every chance to flex his knowledge in almost any subject, but he also attempts to correct his teachers constantly, including a NASA spokesman who once presented in his classroom.

This attitude is similar to the original Sheldon, who once explained to Penny, his next door neighbor, “One cries because one is sad. I cry because others are stupid and that makes me sad.”

“Young Sheldon” also successfully made many old fans crack up: Sheldon constantly bickers with his pastor over religion. While the pastor would quote the Bible for the creation of the universe, while Sheldon would repeatedly state that science is the true religion. When the pastor said that the universe first began with the single word, Sheldon replied by saying it was “ka-boom,” which suggested that the Big Bang, not God, created the universe.

Viewers continue to laugh while Sheldon’s parents pull him out of the church as to avoid embarrassment.

Despite its success in attracting many old fans from “The Big Bang Theory,” the younger Sheldon still seems distinct from his future counterpart, which makes the new series feel different from the original.

“Young Sheldon” portrays a new Sheldon who finds relatively simple but creative solutions to problems. The older Sheldon, by contrast, makes much more complicated solutions. In “The Big Bang Theory,” Sheldon maintains a protocol for everything, ranging from zombie apocalypses to having a bathroom schedule.

The major difference is that “Young Sheldon” doesn’t portray the Big Bang squad; without dwarf Howard, lactose-intolerant Leonard, speech-impeded Raj, and failing actress Penny, the new show doesn’t have the same comedy to it.

The new series contains some of the same characters, though they feel different.

Despite the differences, the show has a nostalgic ring to it, which explains why so many old fans are attracted to the new series. Not only is much of Sheldon’s past revealed, but viewers also can enjoy a new form of the same innocent man, always unable to differentiate sarcasm and constantly flexing his knowledge.

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