Full disclosure: I’ve never watched a single episode of The Big Bang Theory. I hear it’s absolutely hilarious, but I never really found the time to watch its bazillion seasons. However, the promos for Young Sheldon caught my attention and I decided to give the pilot a shot. I’m certainly glad that I did because this was a wonderfully endearing debut.
The story of a 9-year old genius, Sheldon thrives thanks to a star-making performance by Iain Armitage. The kid is a bonafide superstar right out of the gate; he exudes tremendous intelligence, a razor-sharp tongue, and a whole lot of heart. In fact, his relationship with his mother (played to perfection by Scandal villainess Zoe Perry) is the show’s highlight. There’s something so touching and sweet about their bond, and how much Sheldon looks after his mother – the only person in this family who doesn’t mock him or look at him like he’s a freak. If anything, their bond is a prime reason to keep on watching.
Young Sheldon also does a splendid job of illustrating how isolating it must feel to be so. darn.smart. Sure Sheldon’s intellect is played for laughs, but it also serves to highlight how it feels to just be different. There’s a hint of sadness to it all when you realize how alone Sheldon must feel at home, at school and in his everyday life. This injects the show with a real sense of gravitas and adds a whole other layer to what would seem like just another sitcom.
A lovable and highly amusing debut from this spinoff. I’m pleasantly surprised.