Beyond Sheldon: Why We Love Family Sitcoms Like Young Sheldon, Modern Family & The Durrells

Little Sheldon came to Germany to attend summer courses at the University of Heidelberg. He was always arrogant and always smart, but he was surrounded by groups of geniuses and became the most ignorant student in the class. For the first time in his life, he tasted the taste of being laughed at by professors and classmates. . Seeing Sheldon’s frustration, we, like Sheldon’s mother in the play, couldn’t help but chuckle…

This is the opening scene of the seventh season of “Young Sheldon,” the character spin-off from “The Big Bang Theory” that is now in its final season. Maybe many people like me started watching “Young Sheldon” because they liked Sheldon, the weird and cute character of a genius physicist, and were curious about how he grew up. Apart from Dayton, each of his family members actually has their own personality – the chic grandmother who likes gambling and dating, the religious mother who takes care of the whole family, the father who likes to watch football and drink like all men, the brother who can’t spell the words and gets married early, There is also a sister with high emotional intelligence who loves to dress up since childhood…

Therefore, this extra drama called “Young Sheldon” actually feels like watching family comedies such as “Modern Family” and “The Durrells”. In countless funny and heartwarming details, the audience and The actors all watched as the years passed by quickly. This kind of sitcom can sometimes last ten seasons. You can’t tell the plot, but for the audience, it seems as if it has accompanied you through some days in your life, especially when you see the young actors in the show performing every year. Growing up has become the weight and measure of time.

It is not difficult to find that dramas such as “Young Sheldon”, “Modern Family” and “The Durrells” all have very high ratings on Douban. Every season of “Modern Family” filmed from 2009 to 2019 scored above 9.5 points, and the final season was even rated at 9.7 points because of sentiment; “The Durrells” also scored above 9 points from one to four seasons; The seven seasons of “Young Sheldon” also scored above 9 points. Why do the demanding Douban netizens love these family dramas so much?

I think it is possible that everyone has seen the love flowing in the bumpy daily life. Family members are often the ones who scold you one moment and forgive you the next moment.

“Modern Family” has been with us for ten years. The three families represent three kinds of American life. We have witnessed Claire and Phil role-playing every Valentine’s Day and making jokes. The eldest sisters Haley and Dylan have become new parents. Alex, the middle sister who is a top student, enrolled in Caltech, and Luke, a cute guy who always got stuck on the stairs, grew up to be a young man. Lily, who was raised by two loving and vicious fathers, eventually became a mean girl. In the house of Jay and Gloria, Manny was as always To pursue his own literary and artistic tone, we can no longer see what Joe looks like after going to school.

In these ten years, we also went to college and graduated, looking for our lifelong ambitions and lovers, as if we were witnessing the passage of time with the characters in the play. Therefore, the group photo of them traveling in Paris in “Modern Family” triggered many people’s emotions about the end of the show. They have not only become everyone’s electronic family, but more importantly, they have conveyed what love between family members is, giving people more confidence in the warmth a family can create.

“The Durrells” is adapted from “The Greek Trilogy” written by Gerald Durrell. It tells the story of the Durrell family, led by mother Louisa and her four children, who moved from England to Corfu, Greece, in the 1930s. The original author is the youngest son who loves biology in the play.

One of my favorite scenes is when they were having fun and moved the dining table to the beach. As a result, the tide came in. Just as it was about to become elegant, it immediately became messy in the wind. The Durrell family’s paradise-like life on the island means that the mother tolerates four careless children while tolerating them to follow their personalities. Just as the youngest son described his mother as Noah driving a small boat, leading her family in the turbulent sea of ​​life, even though she knew that everyone would blame her if the ship ran aground, she still guided the ship with her maternal intuition. go ahead.

Similarly, little Sheldon also has a mother, Mary, who is firmly by his side. Compared to the other two children, Mary seems to pay more attention to and worry about the genius child Sheldon. Mary, who believes in God, always faces challenges from little Sheldon, but mother and son develop a closer bond than other family members.

For example, in the seventh season, the mother accompanies the teenager Sheldon to attend classes in Germany. Sheldon shows his love for trains as always. He takes a train to travel around Germany without telling his mother on weekends. As a result, he is left behind by the train at a stop in order to buy a pie. stand. After his mother learned about it, she immediately called the police station and said that her precious son was lost. He was 1.77 meters tall… The other party was speechless. How old was he? Indeed, it seemed that little Sheldon grew up before his mother was ready to let him go. Like all parents who look at their children’s retreating figures, they felt a little confused for a moment.

This drama, like other family dramas, shows the love, hatred and resentment between family members in ordinary life, but the difference is that many of the jokes in “Young Sheldon” focus on the incompatibility between the genius boy and the people around him, because Sheldon was too precocious, which resulted in his brain growing up but his body not growing up, so he kept skipping grades. Among his older classmates, he became that weird kid who didn’t understand youthful feelings and always raised his hands high in class. At the same time at home, Sheldon is also weirder than his brother and sister because he knows that his family cannot understand him. The weird kid is very lonely, but we also see how the whole family tolerates this weird kid, how they try their best to let him use his talents, and how they are afraid that they are not doing enough and holding back the genius son.

And in this process, we began to discover that not only Sheldon is the protagonist, but everyone is the protagonist, and they are no longer little Sheldon’s foil. Although Sheldon is sometimes embarrassed by his family, and his family is sometimes embarrassed by Sheldon, they stand up for each other in critical moments.

This reminds me of the British writer Janet Winterson’s autobiographical novel “I Want to Be Happy, Not Normal”, which recalls her entanglement with her adoptive mother, Mrs. Winterson. There was a lot of pain and confusion, but in the end she Said, even if Mrs. Winterson is a monster, it is still her monster.

Even though Sheldon is weird, he will always be the Sheldon of this family. And we know that even though this talkative and precocious child met Leonard’s always-rational mother late in adulthood, he probably only wanted to be Mary—the mother who always firmly protected him. —Little Sheldon.

I found that whether it is “Young Sheldon”, “Modern Family”, or “Family with Children” which is more familiar to us Chinese audiences, the reason why these family-themed sitcoms with children as the protagonists can arouse such great feelings in us is that Because we see these families allowing their children to be themselves. Obviously, every child has different talents and personalities. For example, in the families of Liu Mei and Xia Donghai, Xiaoxue is the good girl who is the top student, Liu Xing is the smart little kid, and Xiaoyu is like the younger brother next door. What impresses us about this family is that they all maintain distinct personalities. Parents are more focused on guiding their children to grow rather than going against their nature. It is precisely because every child can release their nature in daily life that the family is able to Various stories happened, and these truly constitute the shared and private memories of a family.

After seven years of filming, we have also seen the three children of the “Young Sheldon” family grow into different appearances. His elder brother, George Jr., gave birth to a child out of wedlock. In order to earn money for milk powder, he carefully learned the roulette business in the casino he shared with his grandmother. Although he was reckless since childhood, he quickly became a man who supported the family. My sister Missy has almost become a clone of her mother. When her mother is not at home, she takes the initiative to take care of the family’s meals and daily life. She also leads the whole family in praying before meals just like her mother. As for Sheldon, we know that he is about to leave this home, enter Caltech, meet Leonard, and live together, continuing to interpret the warm and funny life of a genius and his friends in “The Big Bang Theory”.

“Young Sheldon” uses the image of Sheldon as an introduction, but gives equal respect to every character. And we like this show because the parents in this family, whether their children are eccentric geniuses or ordinary people, tolerate them and become the best version of themselves.

These family dramas may bring back regrets from our childhood. Maybe your parents didn’t understand you well enough or respect your preferences enough at that time. They may also trigger our tender memories of the family. There may be quarrels, but there may also be feelings of embracing you after the quarrel. . And when we ourselves have children, we may be like the parents in the play and try to let our children truly become themselves. This is the greatest respect and gift that parents can give.

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