Sensing that urgency, "Young Sheldon" is the network's most direct attempt to capitalize on the "Big Bang" connection, which includes having star Jim Parsons narrate this affectionate look back at his character's younger self.
As has been well documented within the flagship series, Sheldon Cooper (played by Iain Armitage, a genuine find) was a mathematical genius as a child, leapfrogging him into high school at the age of nine.
Created by "Big Bang" patriarch Chuck Lorre and Steven Molaro, "Young Sheldon" taps into the inherent comedy in this dynamic, but with an underlying sweetness that permeates its core.
Whether that formula can be sustained over the long haul is a clouded by several X factors, but with its sire sitcom as a lead-in -- and the clock ticking for CBS, given the expected end of that show's run in 2019 -- let's just say there's plenty of incentive to ensure that "Young Sheldon" stays in school for a while.
Making allowances for a few head-scratching elements (the heights, for one thing, don't exactly match up), the series possesses a bittersweet quality -- such as when teenage Alex gets a pep talk about the Chicago Bulls' Michael Jordan from his stepdad -- with a dollop of "This is Us" (a show that's going to generate plenty of flattering imitation) in the time-hopping format.
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