Review: ‘Young Sheldon’
If there’s a series I enjoy turning on the television in the evening, it’s ‘The Big Bang Theory’. Although this series has tickled her last season, the next one is already ready. Meet the prequel ‘Young Sheldon’! Warners Bros. released the first season on DVD and sent a copy to Boekhopper.
Life isn’t easy for the 9-year-old genius Sheldon Cooper. His father, soccer coach George, has no idea how to bond with a son he doesn’t understand. His mother, the pious Mary, does what she can to protect her maverick. Sheldon’s childhood is a succession of uncomfortable and promising situations that eventually make him the beloved iconic scientist we all know from The Big Bang Theory’.
A unique, funny story that is also instructive here and there. A description that I think fits ‘Young Sheldon’. It has the vibe of ‘The Big Bang Theory’, but then just a little bit in a new jacket so the series knows how to surprise. Where humour is paramount, just like in the regular series. Sheldon goes to high school at the age of nine. A nice challenge when the children you are in class with are twice as big as you are. Although it doesn’t seem to hurt Sheldon very much. He goes into his own world and decides what he does. This results in some funny scenes. In the first episodes, for example, we see how Sheldon enters into a discussion with the local pastor. The young scientist is convinced that the world was shaped by the big bang. He makes it quite difficult for the pastor with his questions about the big bang. Pastor: “There was no big bang, just the word of God.” Sheldon: “Was that word Kaboom!”
The role of the young Sheldon is played by Iain Armitage and as far as I’m concerned they couldn’t have picked a better actor. What a credible young scientist he is! In which he easily navigates between scenes where scientific language about phantoms rolls out just as easily as the question ‘what are we having for dinner tonight? In addition, Armitage has studied the older version of Sheldon well and to the viewers of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ it really seems as if you’re watching a younger version of the beloved character. Extremely clever how the actor managed to do that, small actions like intonation are completely similar to Jim Parson’s version of the older Sheldon.
> ‘This series stands like a house’
In the series there is of course also a role for Sheldon’s grandmother, for viewers of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ known as Meemaw, a drinking flier who doesn’t take life too seriously. The role is played by Annie Potts, known from Toy Story and the new Ghostbusters film. The experienced actress brings a fine mix of comedy to the screen that fits Armitage perfectly. She has a refined sense of timing, knows how to make a joke so that almost everyone immediately laughs. (Luckily, the creators of this series didn’t choose to record it in front of a live audience that laughs every few seconds. Jokes are brought as they are, it’s up to the viewers to decide if they think it’s really funny themselves instead of a laughing band)
I can be brief about the storyline. In the 22 episode, of which the first season is made up, it’s just a lot of fun. The famous ‘The Big Bang Theory’ moments are full of science, but you also get a glimpse into the life of an American family in the last century. Accents are close to it, clothes full of flowers splash off the screen and the famous mats for boys are back. The scriptwriters have also made sure that you get to know everyone well and the focus is not just on Sheldon. In this way they are able to tell a round story that is also fun for viewers who don’t have a lot to do with science.
The only drawback for me about this series is that it doesn’t always seamlessly blend together in terms of editing. Sometimes there’s a black image in between and then it switches to a new scene in a different setting. Although the series takes place in the last century, it could have flown into each other a little nicer. Although for me this doesn’t really detract much from the series. It stands like a house and can carry a number of longer interruptions with force.
Young Sheldon’ is the perfect prequel for all The Big Bang Theory fans. Hopefully there will be as many seasons as the regular series and we’ll also see the other famous characters.
Have you seen ‘Young Sheldon’ as well? Let us know what you think of this series!