CBS on Monday chronicled two major milestones in Sheldon Cooper’s life: girlfriend Amy’s response to his marriage proposal in the Season 11 premiere of The Big Bang Theory, and his first day of high school in the series premiere of Young Sheldon.
With Jim Parsons aboard the prequel not only as an executive producer but also as its narrator (in character as Adult Sheldon), Young Sheldon starts off in 1989 East Texas, where the 9-year-old brainiac (Big Little Lies standout Iain Armitage) is in the garage playing with trains. When he gets called to dinner, we get introduced to the rest of the family: In addition to his mother, Mary (Scandal‘s Zoe Perry), and his twin sister, Missy (Raegan Revord), we meet two characters never before seen on Big Bang: Sheldon’s older brother, Georgie (Montana Jordan), and his father, George Sr. (The Comeback‘s Lance Barber), who is also the high school football coach.
Sheldon doesn’t get along with Georgie or Missy, who resent the fact that everyone — but especially Mary — treats him differently because of his extraordinary intelligence. Missy is also fed up with having to forfeit the remote control whenever Sheldon wants to watch Professor Proton. (In a clever callback to Bob Newhart’s first-ever appearance on Big Bang, Professor Proton is seen trying to power a clock with a potato.)
As expected, Sheldon makes a bad first impression at high school, embarrassing Georgie just minutes into his first day. In homeroom, he calls out his fellow ninth-graders for disregarding the school’s dress code, then tells his teacher that she has “a bit of a mustache.” He goes on to make equally inappropriate remarks in all of his other classes, as his teachers indicate to Mary and George Sr. when they are called down to the principal’s office.
Later that day, George Sr. has a talk with Sheldon about the importance of minding his own business. He tells his son that he was fired from his last job for snitching on fellow coaches, and to this day, it still makes him sad. That night at dinner, Sheldon attempts to comfort his father by holding his hand for the very first time as Mary says grace. (Aw!) Adult Sheldon then chimes in, positing that he “wouldn’t touch his brother’s hand until 17 years later — thanks to the invention of Purell.”
What did you think of Young Sheldon? Will you keep watching the Big Bang Theory spinoff when it resumes on Thursday, Nov. 2, at 8:30/7:30c? Grade the episode via the poll below, then hit the comments to flesh out your thoughts.