His wedding to Amy in The Big Bang Theory season 11 brings Sheldon’s whole family except for Meeemaw — here’s why she’s absent from the event.
Sheldon has a very close relationship with his Meemaw, so why didn’t she attend his and Amy’s wedding in The Big Bang Theory? Years of dating that even included a brief separation ultimately led to the couple tying the knot at the end of season 11. Aside from their closest friends, the celebration was attended by the pair’s respective families, but there’s one particularly notable absence from Sheldon’s side of things — his grandmother.
Long before she made her physical debut on The Big Bang Theory, Meemaw was already an established character on the sitcom thanks to Sheldon’s stories about her. While the socially-inept genius isn’t known for being affectionate, he’s very open about his love for her — even dubbing her as his most favorite out of all his living family members. It was only in season 9, episode 14 titled “The Meemaw Materialization” when she officially appeared after learning about Sheldon’s heartbreak from Amy splitting up with him.
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Given how important Meemaw is to Sheldon, it’s odd that she didn’t attend her grandson’s life milestone when he married Amy in The Big Bang Theory season 11 finale titled “The Bow Tie Asymmetry.” In the episode, all of Sheldon’s remaining family members traveled to Pasadena for the event, including Georgie, with whom he hadn’t been on speaking terms for a long time. The decision to exclude Meemaw from the outing was due to a couple of reasons. According to showrunner Steve Holland in his interview with Deadline, the episode already had a lot of characters that it would be difficult to service all of them without sacrificing the story. In a separate conversation with THR, he added that they didn’t want to confuse people with two versions of the character since Young Sheldon is immediately following The Big Bang Theory where Annie Potts plays a significantly different version of the role than June Squibb’s.
The Big Bang Theory‘s first explanation somehow makes sense; the episode was already packed with guest stars including Mark Hamill who officiated the ceremony. Instead of focusing on the wedding itself, it also tackled several subplots including the Coopers having a breakthrough with their scientific research. That’s already a lot of stories to cram into a 30-minute outing. That said, The Big Bang Theory should’ve at least made an effort to explain Meemaw’s absence instead of totally ignoring it. Holland revealed that while they did film a short scene where she explained why she couldn’t attend the ceremony, they ended up cutting it, once again due to time constraints. The thing is, the sitcom didn’t have to devote that much time to explain the situation; a brief line from Mary addressing it would do the trick.
Aside from the direct implications of Meemaw’s absence from Sheldon’s wedding, it also highlights one of, if not the offshoot’s biggest issue — Young Sheldon‘s lax approach when it comes to preserving continuity. Holland essentially admitted to this through his second explanation; the fact that they expected people to be confused between Potts and Squibb’s version of the character means they knew that they are vastly different, almost as if they’re entirely two different people. This is the reason why The Big Bang Theory fans aren’t exactly keen on the prequel spin-off which frankly is totally understandable.
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