Season 2 of Young Sheldon brings us firmly into Sheldon (Iain Armitage), age 10, to his high school years while navigating his experiences as a prodigy child that perhaps would overwhelming to anyone. He encounters how to have fun (S2 E10: A Stunted Childhood and a Can of Fancy Mixed Nuts) (this episode is also the root of his use of “Bazinga!” when he does something he perceives to be funny), jealousy (S2 E07: Carbon Dating and a Stuffed Raccoon), and forming better familial relationships (S2 E08: An 8-Bit Princess and a Flat Tire Genius).
(Let us take an aside for S2 E08: An 8-Bit Princess and a Flat Tire Genius. Meemaw (Annie Potts) buys Sheldon a gaming system which is the clone of Nintendo NES with a clone of Zelda but the system is called Takemi (or something similar; it was hard to see). Now before this scene, there was a cutaway of kids happily playing the real NES as well as Atari 7800. So why give Sheldon the knock-off system? It can’t be copyright issues since they already showed the cutaway. If anyone has the answer, that would be delightful.)
Spin-offs don’t necessarily do as well as their mother shows (The Lone Gunman (X-Files) and Torchwood (Doctor Who))(I loved Torchwood, FYI.). This does not necessarily mean they are bad shows rather a myriad of reasons such as bad time on the weekly slot or the production stumbles just a bit in the first few episodes. It’s to be expected, of course, that as the new show typically uses the same showrunner and production team, the spin-off will come out of the gate running strong as a Kentucky Derby winner. The Big Bang Theory has been a cash grab for CBS for years, so whether or not fans of TBBT, and the general public at large, would accept Young Sheldon was a question to the gods.
My partner pointed out Young Sheldon may have its roots in TBBT but it could survive, successfully even, on Sheldon’s bowties without the TBBT connection. It’s a better than average sitcom, it’s warm, funny, and has the right laughs thrown in. It’s not complicated or requires a chalkboard to figure out its formula. Young Sheldon is not poised to be CBS’s #1 Sitcom no should it be as it doesn’t have quite enough oomph to vie for that spot but it does have a comforting familiarity to ease into without necessarily having to know its origins or connections to another show. You could successfully watch Young Sheldon and not watch a wit of TBBT and lose nothing.
Is CBS All-Access worth purchasing for just Young Sheldon (and/or TBBT as well)? My answer would be no (though yes to Star Trek: Discovery) but if you do have the service, you wouldn’t feel like you’ve wasted time watching Young Sheldon in its 22 minutes per episode is a nice palette cleanser to the trash dumpster fire that is the world.