The Big Bang Theory is my favorite current show, and I do like young Sheldon. But for some reason I have a hard time believing young Sheldon grew up to be Sheldon Cooper. Yes, Iain Armitage had some enormous shoes to fill portraying such an iconic character, but just doesn’t seem to be like Jim Parson’s Sheldon Cooper to me.
Remember that Young Sheldon is the version being told to us by older Sheldon, who is obviously an unreliable narrator. So I just assume Young Sheldon doesn’t appear to be as much of a self-absorbed pompous ass as TBBT Sheldon because Sheldon doesn’t see himself that way. But in reality he (Young Sheldon) probably is.
This sort of difference is inevitable, I think. It’s one thing for Sheldon to have a distant, alcoholic, cheating father as backstory. It’s quite another to make such a person a regular character on a show that’s supposed to be mostly funny.
No. I’ve said that before in previous threads. If it is possible it’s a pretty dark story. Young Sheldon is a nice kid with personality issues, adult Sheldon is seriously disturbed, his fear of his own shadow is the only thing that keeps him from being a serious danger to others. I suppose he’s softened over the years from the influence of Penny and Amy but he started out as a serious misanthrope at the beginning of the series. I wouldn’t want to see the story of how young Sheldon ends up that way. What’s particularly troublesome is that his family members are rather nice people, somewhat flawed, but not demonstrating the kind of serious dysfunctionality that would explain the behavior of adult Sheldon.
I think this all the time, which is why I agree with the poster who said that the story is Sheldon through Sheldon’s eyes. He is more heroic than he actually was. Let’s face it-- NO kid is as heroic as Young Sheldon, and it cries for some explanation.
But in addition to that, at 9, Sheldon would have been a lot less aware of things like the cracks in his parents’ marriage, or the fact that his father’s drinking was problematic.
But the current Sheldon of season 11 is a pretty nice guy with some quirks. It is easy to believe that YS grew up to be season 11 Sheldon, less easy to believe that he grew up to be earlier Sheldons, but not impossible (it’s especially hard to believe he grew up to be the SHeldon of the flashback episode “The Staircase Implementation”). He had some tough years. He went off to college before he was through puberty. He was living in Europe mostly on his own as a teenager working as a visiting professor. Those experiences probably hurt him.
He is also already socially awkward as a 9-year-old, and he probably stops developing much at that age socially at all, because he is so isolated once he moves to high school. I mean, his main role model is Tam, who is a bit immature himself. His development doesn’t pick up until he meets Leonard, and it doesn’t really take off until he meets Amy.
I’ve said it before, but the entire run of TBBT is really the story of how Sheldon becomes a “real boy.” Amy sort of makes the journey first, and it is very interesting how in each season she is in a different developmental stage, from toddler, to older child, to tween, to teen, to young adult, to finally someone ready to marry. About 1/2-way, she starts to tug Sheldon through them too.
One thing to remember, though, is that the show has acknowledged that Sheldon has issues with OCD. OCD gets worse as you get older. It is often not even present in childhood, although it can start right around the age YS is, and plateau in a person’s mid-20s. If Sheldon has OCD, (or OCPD, more likely), it would have gotten worse as he grew up, because that’s the nature of the beast.
The real question is why it got better. Probably because having people close to you who support you can help you cope with both anxiety disorders (OCD) and personality disorders (OCPD), and so can an awareness of how they affect the people around you, and a desire not to have them continue to do so, especially in the case of the latter.
That would be the dark part of his life. Everything he is learning and experiencing in YS now would be failing him and the current or original adult Sheldon would not be looking back at those years with any fondness. I think the Sheldon we know would have come from a more isolated existence, ignoring and oblivious to the world around save for those unfortunate times he strayed outside of the bubble, leading to his determination to stay in that bubble until Amy finally coaxed him out.
If Sheldon learned about life or had fond memories of his childhood he would have turned back to that instead of rejecting it when those later hard times came about.
I also don’t see the selfish and mean spirited aspects of his adult personality emerging from the child depicted in YS. They are part of the core of his existence that he didn’t learn to mitigate as a child, not something that developed later. It’s only as an adult that he’s learning why such base instincts are detrimental.
From anyone else, you could chalk this up to exaggeration for effect. But not Sheldon (the Sheldon on either series), who is very literal and precise.
In the end, I watch both series and don’t expect consistency between them. Or in the case of TBBT, not much consistency from year to year or even episode to episode. They’re sitcoms. There was never much consistency or logic in 3.5 Men, either.