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TBBT vs Young Sheldon: Nitpicks, Anomalies, and Historical Facts In An Evolving Universe, presented by Sheldon L. Cooper

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Just now, vibeology said:

Maybe I'm a weird outlier but I want that canon. I honestly think things are too good in the Cooper household right now based on what was established on TBBT. They chose to tell this story and it's actually dark and has an end point or at least a major shift when Sheldon leaves home for school. Ignoring that for money and ratings bugs me.

Oh I do want to see how they end up doing this while sticking with the canon. I actually would get annoyed if they didn't.

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4 hours ago, vibeology said:

Maybe I'm a weird outlier but I want that canon. I honestly think things are too good in the Cooper household right now based on what was established on TBBT. They chose to tell this story and it's actually dark and has an end point or at least a major shift when Sheldon leaves home for school. Ignoring that for money and ratings bugs me.

I agree that if they ignore TBBT canon it would hurt the show in my opinion. In the last episode it occurred to me that they are doing a good job of presenting George in a more positive light and still showing how Sheldon reached the conclusions that he has. For example when Sheldon said that meeting Hawking would be like Mary meeting Jesus or George meeting the inventor of beer. That’s enough to explain a lot of Sheldon’s comments about them. 

George and Mary’s marriage issues are going to be harder to address but things can deteriorate rapidly in that area so it doesn’t bother me that we have seen any major signs of trouble in that area. 

On 2/10/2020 at 9:51 PM, displayname said:

I have missed most of this season, but watching the latest episode and looking at all the familial bonding, and the rather quaint feeling this show tends to have, we really are set for a downer ending, if they decide to stick with the canon established in TBBT.

This show does have the advantage of being able to end with a flash forward to a happier time. 

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23 minutes ago, Dani said:

I agree that if the ignore TBBT canon it would hurt the show in my opinion. In the last episode it occurred to me that they are doing a good job of presenting George in a more positive light and still showing how Sheldon reached the conclusions that he has. For example when Sheldon said that meeting Hawking would be like Mary meeting Jesus or George meeting the inventor of beer. That’s enough to explain a lot of Sheldon’s comments about them. 

I was about to point out the same thing.  Sheldon has clearly become an unreliable narrator of his childhood.  Not because of dishonesty but because of his childish and self-centered view of the world.

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The writers at BBT didn't write a particularly rosy life for Missy as opposed to Georgie who went on to be the Tire King.

Well, Georgie has a lot of money in the future as Dr. Tire, which actually is a goal he wanted. And I assume since he became the "man of the family" after George died, once he made his fortune, he makes sure no one is really hurting. (That was one of his issues with Old Sheldon.)

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31 minutes ago, Dani said:

This show does have the advantage of being able to end with a flash forward to a happier time. 

For sure. I don't know if there've been shows like this one before, but having the back(front?)story and the way they write this show, the familial themes, Sheldon's nature and commentary, it really gives a poignant feeling and adds somewhat of an artistic depth, for me.

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7 minutes ago, Zoe said:

Sheldon has clearly become an unreliable narrator of his childhood. 

They made that point quite specifically the BBT episode when they brought adult Georgie in to give his side of the story. So the only 2 things we can know for sure about the 'future' of the Cooper family is that George cheats on Mary at some point and dies when Sheldon is 14. Everything else Sheldon has ever said is very subjective and open to interpretation.

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3 hours ago, displayname said:

Oh I do want to see how they end up doing this while sticking with the canon. I actually would get annoyed if they didn't.

In BBT did Mary ever talk badly of George or was it only Sheldon. I'm thinking Sheldon exaggerated a lot of their problems because he couldn't forgive his father for dying. We've seen him say terrible things about people who disappoint him, ie Will Wheaton.

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10 minutes ago, retired watcher said:

In BBT did Mary ever talk badly of George or was it only Sheldon. I'm thinking Sheldon exaggerated a lot of their problems because he couldn't forgive his father for dying. We've seen him say terrible things about people who disappoint him, ie Will Wheaton.

I don't know if that will happen or not, but I think even if we remove the marital troubles, I do still think it's heading towards a sad ending. George dies, Sheldon's mom is left all alone to take care of her family, Georgie has to step up to help her, they all have to make sure Sheldon doesn't get to know of it in order to protect him, Sheldon, well, "cancels" Tam. It really does arch over as the story of a happy, if dysfunctional, family to one that degrades over a period of time to help their most gifted, yet most immature and self-centred, member of the family. BUT it's as much a story of (a part of) The Coopers' strength at the end of all this.

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47 minutes ago, Gummo said:

They made that point quite specifically the BBT episode when they brought adult Georgie in to give his side of the story. So the only 2 things we can know for sure about the 'future' of the Cooper family is that George cheats on Mary at some point and dies when Sheldon is 14. Everything else Sheldon has ever said is very subjective and open to interpretation.

I think even the cheating on Mary could be subjective. Sheldon may not have seen what he thought he saw. George and Mary could have been role playing with Mary in a wig for instance. 
 

George dies, I think that’s the only thing we can take to the bank. 

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1 hour ago, retired watcher said:

In BBT did Mary ever talk badly of George or was it only Sheldon. I'm thinking Sheldon exaggerated a lot of their problems because he couldn't forgive his father for dying. We've seen him say terrible things about people who disappoint him, ie Will Wheaton.

Mary hasn’t but Sheldon has made some comments that will be difficult to work around. Cheating could be a misinterpretation but George and Mary separate to some degree and there has to be another women involved in some capacity.  Sheldon’s black and white world view combined with Mary’s rigid morals leave a lot of wiggle room for the specifics.

 

27 minutes ago, kariyaki said:

I think even the cheating on Mary could be subjective. Sheldon may not have seen what he thought he saw. George and Mary could have been role playing with Mary in a wig for instance. 
 

George dies, I think that’s the only thing we can take to the bank. 

I think they could make that work but I hate the idea that George seeing Sheldon and never talking to him resulting in Sheldon believing the worse. They could make it work in a “I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus” situation but it still makes me nearly as sad as the story Sheldon told. 

 

1 hour ago, Zoe said:

I was about to point out the same thing.  Sheldon has clearly become an unreliable narrator of his childhood.  Not because of dishonesty but because of his childish and self-centered view of the world.

Exactly. It’s not even a retcon because TBBT showed Sheldon’s skewed view of his childhood since the first season. 


Sheldon: Penny, if I'm going to get Leonard a gift, I'm going to do it right. I refuse to let him experience the same childhood trauma I did.
Penny: I know I'm gonna regret this, but what trauma?
Sheldon: On my 12th birthday, I really wanted a titanium centrifuge so, you know, I could separate radioactive isotopes.
Penny: Of course, yeah.
Sheldon: Instead of a titanium centrifuge, my parents bought me-- Wow, this is hard. They got me a motorized dirt bike.
Penny: No!
Sheldon: What 12-year-old boy wants a motorized dirt bike?
Penny: All of them.

Edited by Dani
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47 minutes ago, kariyaki said:

I think even the cheating on Mary could be subjective. Sheldon may not have seen what he thought he saw. George and Mary could have been role playing with Mary in a wig for instance. 

There is also the references Sheldon makes to his father's girlfriend trying to buy his love with action figures.  Sheldon may be naïve and have misinterpreted some of the things he has said but that, to me, seems pretty clear.  At some point George does cheat on Mary and appears to be having an affair of long enough standing that the kids meet his 'girlfriend'.

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22 minutes ago, Dani said:

I think they could make that work but I hate the idea that George seeing Sheldon and never talking to him resulting in Sheldon believing the worse.

Maybe they weren't aware that Sheldon saw them.  Maybe Sheldon was sulking in the closet, or maybe they left the door open because they thought they were alone and they didn't hear Sheldon come home, or maybe Sheldon was trying out some new web cam device and saw too much.

Maybe even George's death is exaggerated, maybe Sheldon decided he was "dead to me" for some reason and stuck with that.

It's all a bit annoying, because George is such a good father on Young Sheldon.  Anyone can make a mistake though.  I think it would be a bit of an ingenious reversal if Mary was actually the one who cheated first, and George only did it in retaliation.

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21 minutes ago, rmontro said:

Maybe they weren't aware that Sheldon saw them.  Maybe Sheldon was sulking in the closet, or maybe they left the door open because they thought they were alone and they didn't hear Sheldon come home, or maybe Sheldon was trying out some new web cam device and saw too much.

The story as Sheldon told it was that he came home from college for spring break (he was 13 or 14, I can’t remember exactly, but it was shortly before George died), walked in his parents’ bedroom and saw his father and another woman. George saw him, Sheldon walked out without saying anything and neither of them spoke to each other about it afterwards. There’s definitely wiggle room there. 
 

I don’t remember Sheldon saying anything about a girlfriend trying to buy his affections but I’m sure I’ll see it eventually in the reruns I’m constantly watching. I’ll stay tuned. 

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2 hours ago, Beany Malone said:

There is also the references Sheldon makes to his father's girlfriend trying to buy his love with action figures.  Sheldon may be naïve and have misinterpreted some of the things he has said but that, to me, seems pretty clear.  At some point George does cheat on Mary and appears to be having an affair of long enough standing that the kids meet his 'girlfriend'.

In one of the later seasons he said that George lived with his girlfriend and got a lecture from Mary. There’s really nothing that establishes it to be an affair if they separate first. 

 

1 hour ago, kariyaki said:

I don’t remember Sheldon saying anything about a girlfriend trying to buy his affections but I’m sure I’ll see it eventually in the reruns I’m constantly watching. I’ll stay tuned. 

It was in the season 4 episode where Howard and Bernadette get engaged. Sheldon tells that story when Leonard is gossiping about Bernadette wanting to break up with Howard. 
 

I can only speculate based on data I collected watching my parents' marriage implode. In that case, the woman dives into religion while the man dives into a bottle-blond bartender who tries to buy my love with action figures. 
 

I think he also said something similar when Leonard and Penny were fighting over her friend from Nebraska staying at her house. 

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38 minutes ago, Dani said:

I can only speculate based on data I collected watching my parents' marriage implode. In that case, the woman dives into religion while the man dives into a bottle-blond bartender who tries to buy my love with action figures.

Ok yeah, I do remember that. So we’ve got a separation or divorce implied there. New girlfriend doesn’t mean he cheated, despite what Sheldon thinks he saw. 

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I think it's pretty clear that they never divorced.  I'm not even sure it's ever really stated that they separated.  That, of course, doesn't mean they weren't living separately - although Sheldon seeing his father in the marital bed with another woman is a pretty strong indication that they didn't - or at least hadn't before George started playing around. 

I think they are going to wait until Sheldon is at least 13 before they introduce the affair(s) and/or the marriage breaking down - or however they decide to go - so I guess if the show doesn't last until then we'll be spared that - and spared George's death.  They might decide to handwave away the affairs and the marriage breakdown but they can't handwave that George died when Sheldon was 14 since they even talk about it in the last year or so  of BBT when YS was already on the air.

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17 minutes ago, Beany Malone said:

I think they are going to wait until Sheldon is at least 13 before they introduce the affair(s) and/or the marriage breaking down - or however they decide to go - so I guess if the show doesn't last until then we'll be spared that - and spared George's death. 

I'm enjoying Mary & George's dynamic too much to sit through multiple episodes with them fighting and possibly separating or divorcing.  Also, the way these kids are growing so fast, I really don't see how this show is going to last but a few years.  The "cuteness" factor will be gone.  It's okay with me if they decide to end this show with a fast forward of their life after George's death.  I will be out if it devolves into him cheating and carousing about.  They do not have to follow TBBT to the letter for me to enjoy the show.  YMMV. 

If they continue on with the original storyline from TBBT, then I suspect that people who are watching YS without having seen TBBT would be disappointed if the show took a dark turn into Mary & George's failing marriage.  It certainly would be a WTF moment for me if I hadn't watched TBBT.   

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18 minutes ago, ChitChat said:

If they continue on with the original storyline from TBBT, then I suspect that people who are watching YS without having seen TBBT would be disappointed if the show took a dark turn into Mary & George's failing marriage.

I wonder how many people have come to YS without ever watching Big Bang?  I guess some of course but I'd suspect mostly people who watched Big Bang gravitated to YS.  And considering that BBT is in endless rerun loop right now those few who never did see Big Bang first are likely watching it now.  All that to say if the powers that be aren't planning to respect the Cooper background they laid out in Big Bang I will be very surprised

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1 hour ago, Beany Malone said:

All that to say if the powers that be aren't planning to respect the Cooper background they laid out in Big Bang I will be very surprised

I understand and respect BBT fans that want YS to stay true to that story, but I'm afraid that if they go down the path that was set by the BBT, it will turn off a lot of viewers from YS.   I won't stick around just to watch George become a turd!!  😉

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13 minutes ago, ChitChat said:

I understand and respect BBT fans that want YS to stay true to that story, but I'm afraid that if they go down the path that was set by the BBT, it will turn off a lot of viewers from YS.   I won't stick around just to watch George become a turd!!  😉

I think that’s what the discussion has been about though. Maybe George isn’t a turd. Sheldon's word isn’t exactly gospel. He perceives things incorrectly all the time.

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11 minutes ago, kariyaki said:

I think that’s what the discussion has been about though. Maybe George isn’t a turd. Sheldon's word isn’t exactly gospel. He perceives things incorrectly all the time.

Two things though aren't really open to interpretation - George dies when Sheldon is 14 and at some point George has a girlfriend (the one who tries to buy Sheldon's love with action figures).  We can all try and reinterpret other things Sheldon has said about his parent's marriage - and maybe YS will walk back some of the worst things that were said but somehow I don't think that's going to happen.  They've been laying the groundwork for George's drinking and the way he and Mary clash over things. 

It's not like they're writing that marriage as being picture perfect.  My big beef (and looking through the YS forum I see I'm not alone) is the way they seem to be making Mary the reason George behaves badly.  Typical Lorre.  Some people say they'd stop watching if George starts playing around - I'll stop watching if he starts playing around and overdrinking and they lay all the blame at Mary's door!

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Also, I believe that George is supposed to lose his job at some point and at some point part or all of the family is in a trailer. Sheldon's perceptions of personal relationships may be up for debate but I think he knows the difference between a trailer and a house.

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Didn’t George already lose his job and that’s why they moved to Medford? I don’t think they lived in a trailer. They lived in a house that was on blocks, but that’s a popular method for building houses in flood zones. It’s not unusual for the Texas coast.

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58 minutes ago, vibeology said:

Also, I believe that George is supposed to lose his job at some point and at some point part or all of the family is in a trailer. Sheldon's perceptions of personal relationships may be up for debate but I think he knows the difference between a trailer and a house.

Both of those stories appear to have been retconned. The trailer one is from very early in the show before the decided George died when Sheldon was a kid. It was supposed to be when Sheldon was 15 and living in Germany. 

The George getting fired story doesn’t match the show seems to have been changed to the one @kariyaki mentioned. 

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2 hours ago, Dani said:

The trailer one is from very early in the show before the decided George died when Sheldon was a kid. It was supposed to be when Sheldon was 15 and living in Germany. 

It’s still not a trailer, it was a house on blocks. But you’re right, Sheldon's age isn’t right in his story.

Quote

Penny: Sheldon, you are a grown man, haven't you ever been sick before?
Sheldon: Well, of course, but, not by myself.
Penny: Really, never?
Sheldon: Well, once. When I was fifteen, and spending the summer at the Heidelberg Institute in Germany.
Penny: Studying abroad?
Sheldon: No, visiting professor. Anyway, the local cuisine was a little more sausage-based than I'm used to, and the result was an internal blitzkrieg with my lower intestine playing the part of Czechoslovakia.

Penny: And there was no-one there to take care of you?
Sheldon: No. No, my mom had to fly back to Texas to help my dad because the house had slipped off the cinder blocks again.
Penny: Again?
Sheldon: It was tornado season. And it was an aluminum house.

 

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38 minutes ago, kariyaki said:

It’s still not a trailer, it was a house on blocks. But you’re right, Sheldon's age isn’t right in his story.

 

I’ve assumed that an aluminum house repeatedly slipping off of cinder blocks was the writers way of implying that it was a mobile home. I seems like they really didn’t settle on Sheldon’s backstory until the second or third season. Him living in Germany is probably the only part of the story still applicable. 

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5 hours ago, Dani said:

Him living in Germany is probably the only part of the story still applicable. 

And even then, it was still just the summer. He was pretty much just there as long as someone goes to summer camp. Bet Missy was jealous then too.

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I think there’s resentment about him dying… Also, did I know we were going to be writing this show when we put that in Big Bang? No.

I appreciate the acknowledgement that they might have taken a different route in writing Sheldon's back story if they'd realized there was going to be a Young Sheldon one day.  That said if they choose to ignore or handwave away the drunkenness and the infidelties I'm out.  I don't necessarily want to see a happy family torn apart but a lot of what happened around Sheldon growing up is what made him the Sheldon we first meet on BBT.  Tinkering too much with that is not on for this viewer.  

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1 hour ago, Beany Malone said:

That said if they choose to ignore or handwave away the drunkenness and the infidelties I'm out

It’s in the last sentence of the interview, the implication that Sheldon may not have seen what he thought he saw. Sheldon being painted as an unreliable narrator was prevalent even on TBBT. It’s not ignoring or hand waving it away, it’s showing that as a kid, one with poor abilities to read social cues, what he interpreted may not have been what really happened. It doesn’t tinker with what made Sheldon who he is if he happens to discover as an adult that he was wrong.

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TVLINE | Is it something Young Sheldon will eventually address?
I don’t know what we’re going to do about that. I’m aware of it, I know it exists. I also know that… Adult Sheldon may not want to tell the audience that story. So maybe it happened, maybe it didn’t. That doesn’t mean we need to see it. Also, maybe there’s a path where what he thought happened then, and what he finds out now, [is] different. I don’t know… It’s an interesting area of the show.

Personally I’m satisfied with the answer for right now. It also reminded me that this is Sheldon telling the story so him being an unreliable narrator is still in play even for things we see on YS. I think that gives them more room to skirt the edges of George’s behavior or to put a new spin in it. I am glad to hear that they at least aware of it. My biggest concern is that they will make the common mistake of not knowing when to let a show end. YS should have a clear endpoint but networks and show runners seem to be the last ones to recognize that point. 
Throughout TBBT Sheldon had a horrible relationship with his siblings so him reconnecting and discovering his perception was skewed works for me. Amy’s desire to connect to Sheldon’s family is the perfect catalyst for that. The episode when Tam visited is a perfect example. Actually it does give the writers something interesting to work with at the point when most shows stagnate. 

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46 minutes ago, kariyaki said:

It doesn’t tinker with what made Sheldon who he is if he happens to discover as an adult that he was wrong.

What bothers me most isn't so much that they are going to (theoretically) pretend Sheldon didn't see the things he says he saw (Dad  throwing Mom's plates off the roof and shooting them as one example) what really bothers me is the idea that they are even toying with throwing BBT Sheldon under the bus in order to salvage a happy family vibe for YS.  Sheldon did not misinterpret or make up that his parent's marriage was (at best) a rocky one.  I really don't want them going with adult Sheldon totally made up crap out of thin air.  

 

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9 hours ago, Beany Malone said:

What bothers me most isn't so much that they are going to (theoretically) pretend Sheldon didn't see the things he says he saw (Dad  throwing Mom's plates off the roof and shooting them as one example)

I don’t think we’ll ever get anything on offhand remarks like that. They’ll just hit the bullet points.

  • George’s drunkenness: they’re already addressing this. Sheldon constantly makes remarks about George’s beer-love but have we really seen him be sloppy drunk? Even if he drinks 3-6 beers every day, which Sheldon could think is a lot but it’s really not, especially for a big guy like that.
  • George cheating: I would bet money that this will turn out to be completely misunderstood by Sheldon.
  • George and Mary’s marriage implosion: I have no idea how they’ll spin this, but it’s possible for a divorce to be amicable and still devastate the kids.
  • George’s death: there’s no sugar coating that one. He dies, and they have three years left on the clock.
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I actually feel bad for the writers. I love BBT and I love YS. They are backed into a corner where they've launched a successful show with a life of its own that now needs to follow the backstory of another much loved show.

I'm good either way because I enjoy both shows so much. I can stretch my imagination if they need me to buy something a bit out there.

The inevitable demise of the Georgie/Sheldon relationship makes me sad. The episode in BBT was very clear about this. However I still think Sheldon and Missy are fine. There was an episode on BBT where he went home to help Missy give birth. He was being typical Sheldon but it definitely promotes the more "Happy Messy Family" vibes of YS. You don't go back and watch someone give birth unless you have a pretty good relationship with them and your family in general.

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22 minutes ago, Mellowyellow said:

The inevitable demise of the Georgie/Sheldon relationship makes me sad.

I do think that’s the saddest of all of it. No matter how they inevitably spin George, adult Sheldon will clearly have a very low opinion of him.

I do like how Mary ends up, though. While she seems to struggle with dealing with Sheldon on YS, somewhere between then and TBBT, she figures out how to play Sheldon like a violin.

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21 hours ago, kariyaki said:

I do think that’s the saddest of all of it. No matter how they inevitably spin George, adult Sheldon will clearly have a very low opinion of him.

Well, Sheldon has a very low opinion of everyone, really.  Watching this show and seeing George be such a great guy and such a great father, what it really does is make Sheldon look bad.  Because it appears that Sheldon dismissed all the good his father did for him, and is besmirching his name, and it is not a good look for him.

We haven't seen the whole story yet though, and maybe never will.  It just appears that the writers have retconned Sheldon's father into a great guy.

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28 minutes ago, rmontro said:

Watching this show and seeing George be such a great guy and such a great father, what it really does is make Sheldon look bad.  Because it appears that Sheldon dismissed all the good his father did for him, and is besmirching his name, and it is not a good look for him.

This is exactly what I mean about throwing BBT Sheldon under the bus,  It's really just not believable that after all the negative stories Sheldon (and even to some extent Mary) shared about George over the years that none of it was based on the real (well TV real) life of the Cooper family.  Retconning George into a great guy makes it easier to write Young Sheldon and I get that but I don't like it.

I do wonder though if making George into a great guy is a move they've decided on fairly recently.  There were quite a few episodes in the first two years of YS where they showed that George drank too much and that he wasn't exactly going to win any family man of the year awards (the episode where he wants to use the money the twins are getting from that twin study to buy himself a boat comes to mind).

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2 hours ago, kariyaki said:

I never thought Sheldon came off looking very well on TBBT, he was often a dick, so a George retcon doesn’t bother me.

At some point, it would be nice to get some sort of explanation so that it makes at least some sort of sense.  An explanation that would allow George to remain a good guy, and yet explain adult Sheldon's attitude beyond simply that he's a dick.

I kind of liked my idea that it was Mary who actually cheated first, but that they allowed Sheldon to think it was his father that was entirely at fault.  TBBT Mary has been shown to have a libido, but maybe George took the blame because he didn't want Sheldon to think ill of his mother, and because he knew how much Sheldon meant to her.  Some self sacrifice there.  And whatever happened, Sheldon's fertile imagination and general dismissal of humanity could fill in the rest.

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24 minutes ago, rmontro said:

At some point, it would be nice to get some sort of explanation so that it makes at least some sort of sense.  An explanation that would allow George to remain a good guy, and yet explain adult Sheldon's attitude beyond simply that he's a dick.

For me just showing a more complete picture is enough to explain it. It’s like the reconciliation episode with Sheldon and Georgie. Sheldon thought Georgie threw away his Halloween costume to be mean and Georgie thought he was protecting his baby brother from being bullied. Sheldon was both right and wrong about Georgie. The same can be true for George. 
 

Kids tend to have a skewed view of their parents. Or to quote The Good Place, “Yeah, kids are idiots. If they knew half the stuff their folks were up to, they'd lose their minds.”

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10 hours ago, rmontro said:

I kind of liked my idea that it was Mary who actually cheated first, but that they allowed Sheldon to think it was his father that was entirely at fault.  TBBT Mary has been shown to have a libido, but maybe George took the blame because he didn't want Sheldon to think ill of his mother, and because he knew how much Sheldon meant to her.  Some self sacrifice there

 They have already had far too many episodes where it seems like good old George is being terrorized by his shrewish wife..  They twist things so not only are the memories Sheldon has of his father wrong but his father was the saint and his mother the sinner?  Not buying it.  And I hope I'm not the only BBT fan who would very displeased at this.

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Why do either of them have to cheat? They could just break up. There are plenty of divorces that have nothing to do with infidelity. 

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1 hour ago, kariyaki said:

Why do either of them have to cheat? They could just break up. There are plenty of divorces that have nothing to do with infidelity. 

I could accept the marriage breakdown without the infidelity (reluctantly 😊) but I think they really do have to incorporate that into YS at some point - if they can do it and show fault on both sides but tone things down from the way Sheldon remembers things I could go along with it.  But I am gathering that a lot of viewers of YS would rather they kept it happy families. 

The writers really have their work cut out for them assuming the show stays popular - no matter what George's days are numbered.  Have there been many other shows that have had to deal with a future death of an established character before the show even went on the air?

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I am actually not inclined to cut the writers too much slack. They were very aware that elements of George's character had been a long since established on Big Bang Theory. They could have easily gone back through scripts or episodes and made note of what's already been said about him. And then kept that in mind with their writing. I am all for a lovely, sweet family comedy and I'm really enjoying the show.  But I'm not going to be happy if we set George up to be a good guy and then have to butcher his character to fit in with the back story. That back story should have been taken into account in the 1st place. The writers did not start with a blank slate, and they needed to have kept that in mind.

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I was watching a BBT episode last night in which Sheldon & Amy find out that their Asymmetry paper was disproved.   In order to cheer Sheldon up, Leonard gave Amy the tape that young Sheldon made for his older self in case of emergency.  Young Sheldon's pep talk got recorded over with one of Georgie's football games and subsequent pep talk by George to his losing team.  As Sheldon sat and listened to his Dad's speech, he realized that their lives actually paralleled each other's in many ways.  They weren't so dissimilar afterwards.  

I don't believe that Sheldon's memory will be so far off as to negate many of the things we learned about his Dad on the BBT, but maybe there will be some things that Sheldon misunderstood or just got plain wrong about his Dad.  I can live with YS not following everything we learned about George on the BBT.  I'm okay with this show standing on it's own.  I'll tune out before I watch George & Mary's marriage spiral out of control.  I'm just not interested in that.  

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I may be misremembering, but I don’t think Mary and George divorced. They had problems and he died. But no divorce.

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16 hours ago, Wanda said:

I may be misremembering, but I don’t think Mary and George divorced. They had problems and he died. But no divorce.

I don't recall it ever being said that they were divorced - earlier episodes make it seem like they they were still married when George died and given the way Mary was acting towards Missie in the BBT episode when Sheldon and Amy get married I doubt they did.  Mary certainly seemed to have strong views on staying married no matter what. Perhaps if we go by the universe presented in BBT it may have also  been because George didn't live long enough to go through with a divorce.

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The writers really have their work cut out for them assuming the show stays popular - no matter what George's days are numbered.  Have there been many other shows that have had to deal with a future death of an established character before the show even went on the air?

Well, Little House on the Prairie had Mary go blind, as per the books. (Although they threw in all kinds of wild crap that had nothing to do with the books.)

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