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How Young Sheldon Is Changing Fans' Opinions About Sheldon's Parents

Raising a young version of Sheldon Cooper (Iain Armitage) has to be a complete and total handful. Even the adult version of Sheldon, played by Jim Parsons, can be rather difficult in his interactions and thought processes. However, this level of awkwardness is often played for comedic effect. "Young Sheldon" is a prequel series spawned from the runaway success of "The Big Bang Theory," and many of the story beats of Sheldon's childhood were established by the previously mentioned show, such as Sheldon's opinions on his parents.

In "Young Sheldon," the titular character's parents are Mary Tucker Cooper (Zoe Perry) and George Cooper Sr. (Lance Barber). In stark contrast to Sheldon, Mary is highly religious and doting, even when compared to her fellow East Texans, while George is a military veteran and a football coach. He even repeatedly jokes as to whether or not Sheldon is biologically his. However, several fans have taken to Reddit to discuss Sheldon's diametrically different parents, and it appears as if some have very strong opinions.

Fans have become proponents of Sheldon's father, while some are losing patience for his mother

Taking to the subreddit r/YoungSheldon, u/SnowPearl started the conversation by saying that they began the "Young Sheldon" series really disliking Sheldon's father, George, on account of prejudices established in "The Big Bang Theory" but has now started to view Mary as a lousy parent and George as the better of the two. They added, "There's a misconception that he's a poor father/husband in both YS and TBBT, but perhaps that's due to Mary constantly steamrolling over him. The few times Mary wasn't dominating over the whole family (e.g. when she got drunk during her crisis of faith or whatever), George actually did a fantastic job taking care of everyone. Overall, he's a bit of a lovable oaf and I love it. God I hope they don't end up destroying his character and putting Mary on a pedestal in order to follow TBBT canon."

Others also felt the same regarding Sheldon's parents, with u/MR_System saying that George makes them genuinely happy, while Mary is starting to become rather tiring. u/True-Internal4833 was also not a big fan of Mary and said that they will often fast forward past her parts on "Young Sheldon." u/Sitcom_kid noted that George is known as a complete jerk in "The Big Bang Theory," while in "Young Sheldon," he is a pretty much a good guy, and it almost seems like it is two different characters. u/JSmellerM made a bold statement that if "Young Sheldon" actually kills off George (which is slated to happen, according to events laid out in "The Big Bang Theory), the show will end.

The actor who plays George Cooper Sr. enjoys being a sitcom dad and his character's journey

Considering the above statements, it definitely seems like who was once concerned a villain in "The Big Bang Theory" now has a fair amount of supporters among fans of "Young Sheldon." Speaking with The Indian Express, Lance Barber was asked about his character's journey, and he replied, "I know that George Cooper Sr. is somebody that has an expiration date and history in the show. But I think we have a lot of stories to tell before we get to that point. And if we get to that point, it will be a wonderful ride getting there." Of course, the shelf-life of George in which his actor is referring is a reference to adult Sheldon pointing out that his father died when he was 14 during a scene in "The Big Bang Theory."

However, the role of George has not been lost on the actor, who is enjoying his newfound status as a sitcom father. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Barber was asked about his growing popularity as Sheldon's father, to which he said, "I don't know about iconic. I think I need some time before I reach that status! But it's great company to be in. I always grew up watching dads of all sorts and I always thought that it felt like a regular guy role I could do." Needless to say, it seems as if the originally maligned character of George Cooper Sr. is certainly enjoying a certain level of fame that many fans of "The Big Bang Theory" may not have expected.