Exploring the Multiverse: Theoretical Physics in Popular Culture Big Bang Theory


The news of a third spinoff from The Big Bang Theory presents an opportunity for the show’s creators to address a recurring issue faced by Young Sheldon and its forthcoming spinoff centered around Sheldon’s brother, Georgie, and his wife, Mandy. Young Sheldon has been a successful sitcom spinoff by all measures, consistently earning high ratings and pleasing fans of the original series. However, it struggles with continuity. The show alters details and characterizations from The Big Bang Theory, creating discrepancies that disrupt the established canon.

The future spinoff, as announced by The Big Bang Theory’s creator Chuck Lorre in 2023, remains in early development stages. Lorre emphasized the need for the new project to justify its narrative cohesively. The key to this justification lies in avoiding the prequel format that Young Sheldon adopted, which caused significant canon contradictions. By breaking away from a prequel setting, the next spinoff can gain more narrative freedom and steer clear of the challenges faced by its predecessors.

Little is known about the specifics of The Big Bang Theory’s upcoming spinoff, but it will inhabit the same universe as the original series. However, this shared universe has not prevented Young Sheldon from reshaping the world of The Big Bang Theory dramatically. While the original series was a traditional multi-camera sitcom with a laugh track, Young Sheldon adopted a single-camera format with a different tone reminiscent of The Wonder Years or Malcolm in the Middle. This stylistic departure contributed to discrepancies with the established tone and continuity of The Big Bang Theory.

Young Sheldon introduced intriguing new characters like Paige (played by McKenna Grace), prompting questions about why Sheldon never mentioned significant figures from his past. The spinoff also struggled with established canon, notably in its handling of characters like Sheldon’s father and sister, leading to continuity issues with The Big Bang Theory.

The upcoming spinoff featuring Georgie and Mandy exemplifies this challenge, facing scrutiny due to Georgie’s reference to a bitter ex-wife in The Big Bang Theory. This offhand remark undermines the premise of their spinoff, requiring further explanation within the existing canon.

To resolve these challenges, the next spinoff should depart from the prequel approach and potentially reintroduce elements like the multi-camera setup and laugh track of The Big Bang Theory. This shift could help the series align more closely with the tone and style of the original sitcom, providing a more coherent extension of The Big Bang Theory’s universe.