Young Sheldon Series Premiere Review: Sheldon’s Heart Remains The Same, Quirks and All

Young Sheldon

By now there isn’t a person who owns a television who hasn’t heard of Sheldon Cooper. We know who he is, what he does, all of his demands and preferences, and the most important people in his world. Through the stories of grown-up Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory, we know quite a bit about how he came to be the, shall we say quirky, physicist he is today. There is so much more to the story than who Sheldon was when we first met him, which is why we now meet Young Sheldon. We thought we knew the story, but we had no idea how much energy it takes to raise a genius, or how much heart.

Though grown-up Sheldon narrates the story, his past is seen from the point of view of everyone in his orbit. We now get to see the environment Sheldon grew up in going to high school in Texas. This includes the beginning of the Cooper’s marital troubles, his too honest relationship with his siblings (who for their part give it right back), and Sheldon’s early anxieties. All of Sheldon’s heroes make appearances, including Professor Proton and Stephen Hawking, but none of them compare to his mother Mary, played to perfection by Zoe Perry. Sheldon’s unwavering faith in his mother is only matched by her unwavering faith in him. Why Mary Cooper so desperately needed her faith in God becomes very clear very quickly. The day before Sheldon begins high school, all of her anxieties and protectiveness over her son shine through. She is the only one who accepts that her son is different, and jumps through hoop after hoop to make sure the world doesn’t hold that against him. His first day in the 9th grade isn’t even half done before Mary has to go back in to deal with the teachers who do not feel comfortable with Sheldon’s lack of filter.

Mary is not the only one who recognizes that Sheldon deserves a quality education. Sheldon isn’t fazed by other people’s reactions to him, even the positive ones. He tells the music teacher who marvels at his perfect pitch that he will not be a musician because musicians take drugs. To be fair, in the 1980s, Sheldon wasn’t wrong. For the first time we get to see, not just hear about, Sheldon’s father George. George does his best to be a good father to all of his children. This includes a firm hand with Sheldon’s twin Missy (who has quite the mouth on her), encouragement to his frustrated son Georgie, and honest with Sheldon. In order to help Sheldon understand why it is important for him not to say everything he is thinking, George tells his son that he was fired from his previous job for telling the truth about other coaches illegally recruiting players. It’s the first time Sheldon understands that unlike in his comic books, justice does not always prevail. It’s also the first time Sheldon truly respects and shows affection for his father. It would take another two decades for Sheldon to be comfortable with people touching him, but it started with holding his father’s hand at the dinner table.

Will you continue to tune in for the pure heart that is Young Sheldon?

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