Actor Lance Barber is wrong: “The Big Bang Theory” harms the arch of George and the arch of young Sheldon in general. The actor plays George, Sheldon’s father (Ian Armitage) in the ongoing CBS comedy. Based on the established canon in the “Big Bang Theory”, his fall from grace and possible death is not far off. Despite this, Barber believes that Young Sheldon should continue to respect the geek-oriented sitcom and support the idea that they exist in the same reality.
All members of the Cooper family appeared in “The Big Bang Theory” before they had their own series, except George. By the time of the events of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon’s father was already dead. For 12 years, stories about him from both Mary (Zoe Perry) and an adult Sheldon (Jim Parsons) gave an idea of what kind of father he was. Unfortunately, they didn’t give the impression that he was a good father; in fact, he sounded terrible. However, the young Sheldon denied this for years, because in the prequel George was a devoted family man.
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This remains the biggest discrepancy between “The Big Bang Theory” and “Young Sheldon.” In an attempt to explain this and many other inconsistencies in the plot and characters, there are theories that the shows don’t actually exist in the same universe—something that George’s actor from “Young Sheldon” recently refuted. Lance Barber insists that Young Sheldon and TBBT exist in the same reality, but in fact it would be better if they did not exist, especially with regard to his character. Since the original sitcom gave George a bad reputation, his prequel now has no choice but to follow his example so as not to violate the canon. This means that despite George’s pretty decent iteration of the young Sheldon, he now needs to slowly turn him into the bad dad Sheldon and Mary remembered in “The Big Bang Theory.” What’s even worse is that long before the young Sheldon, Patriarch Cooper already had a definite end, since the character died when Sheldon was 14 years old. Even if CBS wants to continue producing the spin-off, it will be forced to move forward without George, given the show’s schedule.
In addition to George’s personal arc, following the canon of the “Big Bang Theory” also negatively affects the overall narrative of the young Sheldon. Instead of just focusing on Sheldon, the series diversified the narrative by giving each member of the Cooper family their own storylines. This includes exciting stories for siblings Georgie (Montana Jordan) and Missy (Regan Revord). However, as the prequel moves forward in the timeline, Sheldon will eventually have to leave Texas and do research abroad. To stay true to its name, the show will have to shift the focus to him and reduce the attention it currently pays to his siblings and the rest of the family. It doesn’t sound perfect, since “Young Sheldon” has turned into a family show over the years. Barely paying attention to Sheldon’s family, especially his siblings, could spell the end. On the other hand, the apparent contradiction of the established continuity of the “Big Bag Theory” may further anger fans of the previous sitcom.
CBS has to make a difficult decision for its main comedy. Should he continue to promote it as a prequel to The Big Bang Theory and sacrifice his own narrative to connect with a geek-centric sitcom, or let the spin-off exist on its own? Five years later, “Young Sheldon” has already gathered his fans, for the sake of sustainability, it might be better if he creates his own narrative, not dictated by what came before him. Setting up in an alternate reality would be the perfect way to do this.