CBS' is effectively ruining the legacy of to save itself. In an effort to capitalize on the geek-centric sitcom's popularity, the network launched its first and only prequel in 2017 which centers on Sheldon's (Jim Parsons) childhood. But while it's meant to build on the story of its parent series, Young Sheldon is contradicting The Big Bang Theory, and it doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon.
In its earlier years, Young Sheldon existed almost separately from the original show. Aside from sharing a lead character, there were barely any significant connections between the shows despite airing back-to-back as part of CBS' premier sitcom block. But leading to
Issues in micro-continuity, especially when dealing with a show that ran for more than a decade, are understandable. But aside from that,
Over the years, Young Sheldon has created a string of The Big Bang Theory plot holes. Some are inconsequential in the bigger scheme of things, while others have drastically changed the way viewers remember its parent series. Arguably its biggest ongoing inconsistency is its depiction of George. While
In an effort to stick with its version of George, Young Sheldon season 5 has put him in situations where he could prove how committed he is to his family. But knowing full well that it will ultimately have to tackle Sheldon's traumatic story on The Big Bang Theory about catching his dad cheating, the offshoot has to also slowly set up this particular plotline. After dancing around it for years, Young Sheldon has finally started to tackle it by suggesting that George will cheat with his neighbor, Brenda (Melissa Peterman). Unexpectedly, however, the show is suddenly building towards
Young Sheldon gets a lot of flak for , but objectively, the geek-centric show left it in a tricky position in terms of storytelling. If the spin-off simply follows what's been previously established in its parent series with regard to George's arc, it would've made it dark and depressing. Young Sheldon is CBS' premier sitcom, and the network would like to keep it as lighthearted as possible, knowing how successful The Big Bang Theory was with this approach. Showing Sheldon and his family deal with a drunk and negligent father isn't a humorous premise, and it also takes away the focus on the socially-inept genius supposedly being the
With at least two more seasons to go, Young Sheldon will inevitably create more The Big Bang Theory plot holes. However, it's imperative that the spin-off sticks as closely as possible to Sheldon's story about catching his dad's infidelity. It's one of the most traumatic experiences for the character, and it affected him in such a significant way that he started his distinctive habit of knocking three times before entering a room. Changing this specific plotline would greatly impact as a whole, as it would imply that he had lied to Penny (Kaley Cuoco) in order to gain her sympathy. There’s also the possibility that the spin-off reveals that Sheldon incorrectly assumed that his dad was cheating when he barged in on his room -but, this would cheapen one of Sheldon’s most emotional moments on the original sitcom, by suggesting his emotional turmoil over the situation was down to merely a misunderstanding. However, Young Sheldon wants to approach this narrative, it needs to be handled with nuance, so it services both its own plot, and The Big Bang Theory's story.
Young Sheldon airs every Thursday on CBS.