You would think that #TV networks have learned a thing or two by now about creating a successful show, and how it's best not to get greedy and simply let the show run its course. Unfortunately, most networks try to milk a big show for as long as humanly possible, and in anyway possible.
#TheBigBangTheory, one of the most popular sitcoms in recent times, is milking that cash cow with a planned spinoff centered around the character Sheldon, and with the decidedly unimaginative working title of Sheldon. Right off the bat, aside from the name, it sounds like an exciting idea; #Sheldon has become one of the most beloved characters in the history of television. But there are some issues with the idea of an entire series dedicated solely to him.
An Ensemble Player Breaks Out
I would like to compare Sheldon to Joey from Friends — two characters that are fan favorites and honestly are what makes their shows great, but you make them the center of attention and suddenly they are not as interesting. It is largely because they are used as tools for comedic effect. We saw how quickly the short-lived #spinoff Joey lasted.
While Sheldon is a popular character in his current show, he is one of an ensemble cast that keeps the story going while piling on the laughter.
Is it fair to say that Sheldon would end up being the next Joey, though? If we look at what the new show is expected to be about, then you start to see where its potential lies.
Sheldon will focus on the titular character's life in Texas prior to meeting Leonard. Sheldon's past has been fleshed out on the show and we know that he has a brother named George who has never been shown, which leaves it open for an original character concept. His sister was featured, played by Courtney Henggeler, and was known for teasing her on-screen brother playfully. His overbearing, bible-thumping mother drove him crazy, while his alcoholic father is one of the sadder aspects of Sheldon's history.
This list of characters is what initially leads me to think that this show could open up a whole new type of sitcom.
What Can Make This Show Different?
Character development; this is one of the most important tools in any great story. It is something that if done correctly, can give you a beautiful show like Breaking Bad, with a legendary character in Walter White.
How would this apply to Sheldon? Well, Sheldon is obviously a deeply troubled character, when you take time to examine his socially awkward behavior and mistrust for humanity. While it has never been stated in the show, it's possible he was not always like this. He was more than likely always brilliant, but his personality might not have always been so socially inept. The showrunners could certainly write him this way for the prequel.
The Big Bang Theory writers have already told so many stories in the show about how tragic Sheldon's life has been, a lot of it due to his family. He had a verbally abusive father who was rarely around, along with a mother who did not support any of his personal endeavors in life or with science. It kind of sets the tone for a troubled home life. You add on his well-documented history of being bullied in the school system, and you start to see how someone like Sheldon could become the way he is.
What this gives you is a show that is centered around a young and brilliant child prodigy who starts out slightly awkward and nerdy, but is slowly turned into what we see in The Big Bang Theory pilot.
While #sitcoms do tend to have sadder moments and you see some instances of character development in other #CBS shows like 2 Broke Girls and Mom, it never comes close to a show centered around this subject like it could be.
After seeing all the character development that Sheldon has undergone in the current show, adding on this prequel could offer a complete story of his life. In his current iteration on The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon is now less awkward and starting to come around to the idea of being in a romantic relationship, having a normal lifestyle. If you have the prequel telling the story of how Sheldon became so damaged, and then the main show telling the story of how he started to fit back in with normal society, it would be a really cool way of telling the fall and redemption of such a beloved character.
While this show is destined to be hilarious, it has the opportunity to be so much more with its somewhat despondent story. Sheldon's evolution would give us a nice refresher on the classic sitcom.
What do you guys think? Should Sheldon be darker then The Big Bang Theory? Tell me what you think in the comments, but before you do, check out Sheldon in action below.