It’s been confirmed that a full series has been ordered of ‘Young Sheldon’, a spin-off of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ that will follow the life of child genius Sheldon Cooper and his family. Along with that announcement comes the detail that the first episode will be directed by ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Jungle Book’ director Jon Favreau.
Favreau however isn’t enough to convince me that this will work. Though he has in the past managed to pull off some incredible feature films that defied concern and low expectations, sitcom spin-offs are rarely a success and this doesn’t even take the line of continuing the story of a character we are familiar with, a younger version portrayed by a different actor is as good as a completely different entity.
They’re throwing everything at this in the hope it’ll defy the fate of most spin-offs. Ordering the show straight to series therefore skipping any post-pilot rejigging, Parsons narrating, Favreau directing, even the real-life daughter of Sheldon’s mother in TBBT playing young Sheldon’s mother in this, yet I doubt it will succeed in any meaningful way as the interplay between characters, especially Penny and Leonard against Sheldon is what makes Parsons’ adult version of the character work so well in TBBT. That in fact was a result of the pilot of ‘TBBT’ not working well for test audiences, not being picked up and subsequently reworked to resemble the show that was aired, became a huge hit and so many people came to love.
The other issue I hate to add fuel to is that many are saying ‘The Big Bang Theory’ is on its last legs. Things have changed almost unrecognisably from the show we started out with, many changes coming naturally and adeptly, but as for character development and compelling story, the recent season has felt lacking. The same jokes are being reused in episodes to the point of it feeling tired, and while I hope something good is coming, and I know two more seasons are contracted, I can’t see much hope of them being the best the show has to offer. ‘Sheldon’ is therefore looking a lot like trying to get more miles out of a property that’s potentially dying, and it won’t be a shot in the arm for the parent show in any way.
As with many things like this I hope to be proven wrong, I’d like another really good sitcom to add to my viewing schedule, I just highly doubt this will be it.