Young Sheldon Season 6’s Meemaw Plot Must Avoid A Repeated Flaw


While earlier seasons of The Big Bang Theory spinoff gave Connie’s love life a lot of screen time, Young Sheldon season 6 should instead focus on Meemaw’s interactions with the rest of the Cooper family. Meemaw changed a lot between Young Sheldon and The Big Bang Theory. The Meemaw seen in The Big Bang Theory is a lot like Laurie Metcalf’s version of Sheldon’s mother Mary, an overprotective, tough-as-nails matriarch who is hard to impress.

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This characterization couldn’t be less like the flirtatious, charismatic, and endlessly energetic Meemaw of Young Sheldon. The Annie Potts character is a restless firebrand who is eager to experience all life has to offer, opening up a Young Sheldon Connie plot hole that the spinoff has never justified. However, this is not the biggest issue with Young Sheldon’s incarnation of Meemaw.

Even though the character herself is a fan favorite (for good reason, thanks to the charming performance of Potts), Meemaw’s plots on Young Sheldon are often lacking in variety and emotional impact. Specifically, even though she often intervenes in the Cooper family’s many squabbles and sets up a secret gambling ring in the basement of her local laundromat, Meemaw’s biggest storylines are inexplicably tied to her love life. Who Sheldon’s grandmother is dating is one of the least interesting aspects of her character, yet viewers often lose out on her more interesting interactions thanks to these storylines. Both season 4 and season 5 of Young Sheldon focused on Connie’s doomed affairs with Dale and Dr. Sturgis, but it is her relationships with her family that are more interesting.

Why Young Sheldon Focuses On Meemaw’s Romantic Relationships

Meemaw is wild at heart and is an unpredictable character, meaning any relationship she gets into is always guaranteed to be dramatic. As such, it makes sense that Young Sheldon has paired her off with two characters who, although they have little else in common, are undeniably stoic in comparison to Meemaw. The kind-hearted but timid wallflower Dr. Sturgis provided an obvious contrast with Meemaw and was almost driven to a breakdown by his relationship with her, while the obstinate Dale was so set in his ways that he couldn’t accommodate Meemaw’s need for spontaneity. Both of these storylines revealed more about these supporting characters and their issues but didn’t tell viewers anything new about Meemaw who, as one of the Cooper family, is ostensibly one of Young Sheldon’s main characters. Instead, the storylines prioritized less central characters, repeated what viewers already knew about Meemaw, and wasted her potential as a supporting star.

Why Young Sheldon’s Sturgis/Meemaw Relationship Didn’t Last

Dr. Sturgis was too uptight for Meemaw, with the character even admitting that he has never had a serious romantic relationship before her. The doctor’s surprisingly poignant inability to cope with romantic life resulted in their breakup despite Meemaw genuinely caring for Sturgis, a sweet scientist who reminded her of her late husband. While Wallace Shawn’s likable character initially attempted to keep up with Meemaw’s wild life, he eventually suffered a mental breakdown during their time together due to the stress of his work and his failing relationship. While a fewYoung Sheldon season 5 episodes hinted at the possibility of the couple rekindling their romance, this doesn’t bode well for Young Sheldon going forward. While the tremendously talented screen veteran Shawn is always a welcome presence on the sitcom spinoff, Young Sheldon needs to give Meemaw a story of her own instead of rehashing a failed relationship.

Why Young Sheldon Broke Up Dale and Meemaw

Craig T Nelson’s Dale could never keep up with Meemaw, resulting in their inevitable breakup. Their relationship was less dramatic than her tenure with Sturgis but equally doomed by incompatible personalities. This did bring George Sr and Dale closer together as the duo bonded over their shared struggles with Meemaw and her daughter Mary but, given how unlikable George Sr can be at times, this wasn’t enough to justify the storyline. What made this plot particularly frustrating in season 5 was the fact that Meemaw supported Young Sheldon’s George through Mandy’s pregnancy more than any other character, a plot thread that deserved more story focus but was comparatively buried by the predictable “will they/won’t they” progression of Meemaw and Dale’s overly familiar relationship pattern.

Why Meemaw’s Love Interests Hold Her Back

Meemaw’s most interesting moments (bringing Mandy to the OB/GYN, running her basement gambling room) have nothing to do with her love interests, who only hold her back from being her most fully realized self. Even her most worthwhile conflicts are with Mary and George, instead of the love interests that she is always invariably too much for. Thanks to Dale and Dr. Sturgis, viewers know that Young Sheldon’s Meemaw is too much woman for one man. This has been clear for two seasons now and, as Young Sheldon season 6 focuses on Georgie and Mandy’s attempts to raise a child, there are more interesting and impactful ways that The Big Bang Theory spinoff could utilize Connie’s character. Reiterating that Meemaw is a free spirit for the umpteenth time wouldn’t tell viewers anything new about her, whereas Meemaw continuing in her (so far unsuccessful) attempts to help out Georgie could show a softer, more considerate side of her character.

Alternatively, pitting Meemaw against George Sr as his marriage with Mary deteriorates further could give the character a compelling conflict with someone other than her latest beau. The idea of Meemaw defending Mary against George Sr (even though Mary herself has her own issues with her mother) would be an interesting one and could make the dramatic elements of Young Sheldon flow better as Meemaw adds some comic relief to the couple’s marital breakdown. Regardless of which (if either) of these story strands Young Sheldon season 6 focuses on, however, what is clear is that any Cooper-centric Meemaw plot would be stronger than another romantic storyline. Meemaw’s love life has been over-explored in The Big Bang Theory spinoff to the detriment of her relationship with the Coopers, and Young Sheldon season 6 needs to remedy this issue by reminding viewers about the vital role that Mary’s mother plays in the title character’s adolescence.

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