Imagine a place, a comfortable place that you feel safe in. Perhaps it’s somewhere from your childhood, the kind of place that you ran away to when things got complicated, or you were confused. This is the kind of place where you could always go to and know that you could be you, without worrying about what anyone else had to think about you, without that crushing responsibility or judgement that has grown to define your very existence. Maybe you have this place as an adult, or maybe it existed at some other, pivotal time in your life.

Even if this place was imaginary, it exists and is a powerful image that cannot be erased.

Now imagine something else, something doing its best to conjure up these images, but doing so without the same intent, thoughtfulness or weight. This something is trying to manipulate you, to draw you into this ideal of yours, but the not to comfort or remind you of a time when life was going your way. Oh no. Instead, what’s happening is these images are being conjured, distorted and broadcast because someone was told that this would be a good idea. These images exist, right? These vivid, ultra-lucid memories have such profound meaning for us that it’s a virtual slam-dunk to remind us of these images, even if the substance isn’t there.

Let’s take this a step further, and place these images on a platform, one that functions on a level that tries to beam the refuse that is “Young Sheldon” into your mind in a BAZINGA haze. There’s no point to any of this, none of these images, the platform or anything else have a lick of meaning other than to remind you that at one time you liked something and that a part of you wants to like something again, even though it’s a cheap facsimile: a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy, just with the lines redrawn on each time bolder and more pronounced to cover up the degradation that occurred through each sad iteration.

There’s absolutely no reason to care, outside of an insignia, a title and a promise, yet you are drawn to it because that promise is so strong. That good faith is a folly, because through four, painstakingly mediocre hour-long stretches (which could’ve been shorter if the platform wasn’t beaming periodic intermissions that froze the whole fucking thing) there’s been nothing, absolutely nothing worth a damn, not a single character, plot twist, gizmo or bit of nostalgia. Just simulacra. Just a sad stab in the dark without a rhyme or reason beyond market research and a desire to do something — anything — with an age old franchise but to drag it through the chaparral while on fire because these images have been burnt into our minds, these memories have formed bonds that can be exploited and only a fool would pay $7.99 a month to watch a fading fucking reminder of who we used to be.