Ask Matt: Sheldon Cooper’s Fashion Sense (or Lack Thereof)

Young Sheldon Iain Armitage
Eddy Chen/ 2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved
Young Sheldon

Welcome to the Q&A with TV critic — also known to some TV fans as their “TV therapist” — Matt Roush, who’ll try to address whatever you love, loathe, are confused or frustrated or thrilled by in today’s vast TV landscape. (We know background music is too loud, but there’s always closed-captioning.)

One caution: This is a spoiler-free zone, so we won’t be addressing upcoming storylines here unless it’s already common knowledge. Please send your questions and comments to [email protected] (or use the form at the end of the column) and follow me on Twitter (@TVGMMattRoush). Look for Ask Matt columns on many Tuesdays and Fridays.

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Why Does ‘Young Sheldon’ Dress Older than Grown-Up Sheldon?

Question: I’m a longtime fan of both The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon. On Big Bang, Sheldon always dressed like a 12- or 13-year-old with his character T-shirts, etc. On Young Sheldon, he dresses like an adult. Did I miss an episode where they account for when the transition happened? — Carol

Matt Roush: I love this observation, and if they’ve addressed it explicitly, I missed it — or I’ve forgotten. But I do have a (pardon the expression) theory about this. I see the young Sheldon Cooper as trying to project a precocious maturity on par with his intellect in his wardrobe, hoping to appear adult and not childish, oblivious to how that makes him look to others. (Social cues will never be his strength.) By the time we meet the older, though not exactly mature, Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory, he no longer has anything to prove and can be more his true self, indulging in childlike pursuits and obsessions — including sartorial choices from comic-book T-shirts to wildly colored socks — in a way he never could as a kid.

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What Gives with The Good Fight’s British Invasion?

Question: I could not help noticing that there are a few British actors on The Good Fight speaking with an American accent — as well as British guest stars who don’t. Is this because The Good Fight is popular in England? — Vera

Matt Roush: This isn’t so much about the show’s overseas popularity (about which I know little) as it is about American producers’ proclivity to hire British, and just as often Australian, actors to fill key roles, typically hiding their accents effectively or adopting new ones (see Kate Winslet in HBO’s recent Mare of Easttown). This is nothing new, but The Good Fight has been there from the start, with Rose Leslie and The Good Wife transplant Cush Jumbo, joined later by guest stars including Michael Sheen, Hugh Dancy, and most recently, Australian/Zimbabwean actress Charmaine Bingwa as the upstart first-year associate Carmen Moyo, who’s playing a major role in current storylines.

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Saying Goodbye — Though Not Really — to Bosch

Question: I would like to know why Amazon Prime Video is ending the Bosch series. There is plenty of material from the books to continue this great series with existing characters and additional new characters. Bosch is the primary reason I signed up for this streaming service in the first place. I say more Bosch! Don’t end this great series I love to watch. — Stephen D

Matt Roush: Here’s some good news. Bosch may be over on Amazon Prime Video, but a spinoff version will continue on Amazon’s free streaming service IMDb TV. The streamer never really gave an explanation for why they chose to end Bosch after seven seasons, making it Amazon’s longest-running series (and first original drama). That’s an unusually long run for a streaming series so may have been financially motivated, which may also have led to jump-starting the franchise with a spinoff focused on Bosch, now retired from the LAPD, working as an investigator for lawyer Honey “Money” Chandler (Mimi Rogers), while his daughter Maddie (Madison Lintz) presumably pursues her own career within the police department. Looking forward to this.

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More Thoughts on Lovecraft’s Cancellation

Comment: A follow-up on Lovecraft Country’s cancellation: HBO likely declined to contemplate a second season because series creator Misha Green was on the verge of signing a multi-year overall deal with Apple. — Michael B

Matt Roush: That deal, announced late last week in the wake of HBO’s cancellation, could have been a factor. But this sounds more like a case of a creative parting of the ways because if HBO truly believed in the project going forward, they’d have stayed in business with Misha Green, the way ABC and FX continue to air ongoing projects from their former top producers, Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy respectively, even after both jumped to Netflix with lucrative deals.

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Comment: In regards to a second season of Lovecraft Country and The Outsider on HBO, both of these were based on stand-alone novels in which both series cover the complete storyline. In each cases there were no follow-up books. How can you produce a second season without the literary interpretation? Both books were extremely awesome, with HBO’s versions adding things to the storyline that took away from the story, making it less pleasing. — William S

Matt Roush: While it’s always hard for an adaptation to live up to a book lover’s expectation, there is no reason why these shows’ producers, and HBO, couldn’t have developed new stories with these characters and premises, using the books as a jumping-off point. There’s always the potential for diminishing returns if you milk something beyond its expiration date, but with Lovecraft and Outsider, there’s an argument that a good storyteller could have run with these high concepts, great characters and actors, for at least a second season.

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Who Are These F***ers?

Question: Please, please explain the relationships on Kevin Can F**k Himself. Every time I think I have them figured out, I get confused again. All I’m sure of is that Kevin and Allison are married to each other, and I think the older gentleman is Kevin’s dad. Is Patty Kevin’s sister? Is Neil Patty’s husband? Kevin’s brother? Maybe it was all explained and I missed it. Help, please. Thank you. – Bertha

Matt Roush: You’re welcome, though personally, I hope this season is the last we see of any of them. For the record, Pete (the older guy) is indeed Kevin’s dad, Neil is Kevin’s BFF and Patty is Neil’s sister, the couple’s neighbor.

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And Finally …

Question; Why oh why do shows like Lisey’s Story on Apple TV+ have such dark scenes?? I realize they’re aiming for mystery, horror and fear, but most of the time — actually, all of the time —we can’t tell who’s in the scene, where they’re at or what’s happening. I often have to refer to an online synopsis to get the gist of what happened and to whom. I read your Q&A’s all the time and have never heard you address this problem. — SJ

Matt Roush: I guess it’s been a while since I’ve addressed it, but next to the issue of blaring background music on TV shows, dark and underlit camerawork is probably the #2 complaint in my mailbag. I watched what I could stand of Lisey’s Story (one of my least favorite Stephen King books, an unpopular opinion) via an advance screener on my laptop, and I do remember that the scenes in the fantasy universe of Boo’ya Moon (which makes me cringe just to type it) were hard to see what was happening. In some cases maybe just as well, but directors of photography for TV really do need to remember that not everyone has state-of-the-art TVs that effectively transmit these dim and dark scenes. Moody is one thing, murky to the point of opaque is another.

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That’s all for now. We can’t do this without your participation, so please keep sending questions and comments about TV to [email protected] or shoot me a line on Twitter (@TVGMMattRoush), and you can also submit questions via the handy form below. (Please include a first name with your question.)