Director Sean Anders Talks About His Own ‘Instant Family’

Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne’s comedy/drama film, Instant Family appears to be an instant hit with both critics and audiences alike. Sure, not everyone is a fan, but I suspect that people don’t actually have kids themselves. Those that do, appreciate all of the chaos and (at times) the corniness that is a part of family life. In the movie, Wahlberg and Byrne play a couple who want to start a family, but sort of feel that they are a bit old to be just starting and find themselves looking into foster care adoption and end up adopting a teen girl and her two younger siblings. Unrealistic you say? Try telling that to Sean Anders who co-wrote the script and directed the movie. He lived it. Well, mostly.

I met Anders last week to talk about Instant Family just before the film opened and my biggest question for him was how much of this film was actually based on real life. “A lot of it,” he said and then went on telling me a story about how his family came to be.

“First of all, my …

'Young Sheldon' is Funny, has Heart and Isn't Annoying

Review of "Young Sheldon"
(L-R): Montana Jordan as Georgie, Iain Armitage as Young Sheldon,
Lance Barber as George, Sr, Zoe Perry as Mary and Raegan Revord as Missy. (CBS)


If you’re not a fan of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, you might be surprised to learn that you might actually become a fan of the show’s prequel spin-off, Young Sheldon. Unlike BBT, Young Sheldon is not filmed on a stage in front of a live audience, the humor is not overly sexual and it not full of a bunch of one liners. Sheldon is also a lot less annoying here. He isn't arrogant, but instead, he's innocent. That doesn’t mean that his family doesn’t have a hard time dealing with a genius who has difficulty with social skills. Sheldon doesn’t like to hold hands at the dinner table because he’s afraid that he’ll catch germs. He likes to point out other people's errors and is shocked to learn that his wisdom isn't appreciated by others. In a way, the whole family struggles right along with Sheldon.

Like CBS’ other new sitcom Me, Myself and I, Young Sheldon is similar to The Wonder Years in that Jim Parsons narrates the show looking back fondly over the different events of his life. The pilot episode takes place at the start of a new school year. Nine-year-old Sheldon (Lain Armitage) is excited and a bit anxious to start his new year … in high school … in East Texas. His twin sister, Missy (Raegan Revord) is thrilled to not have to go to school with him anymore while his older brother, Georgie (Montana Jordan) dreads having his younger brother attend his same school. Georgie is a part of the football team and the boy’s dad, George, Sr. (Lance Barber) serves as the team’s coach. George seems to relate to Sheldon the least and appears to be somewhat of a jerky dad, but keep watching. And then there is Sheldon’s long-suffering mother, Mary (Zoe Perry), who will do anything for her son. The two have a special bond.

Young Sheldon does a good job of helping the audience relate to the boy better than The Big Bang Theory ever did. We get to see some things from his point of view. How he becomes afraid easily and how he says offensive things without having a mean bone in his body. He is a boy of science and doesn’t believe in God, but his mom does and since he believes in her, he is willing to go to church with her.

That brings me to the two things I disliked about tonight’s pilot – neither of them deal breakers. One is the fact that Sheldon’s mother is the only one if the family that believes in God (however, the show doesn’t make her look stupid for doing so) and the other is that this yet another comedy where the writers think it’s cute when little children say bad words. Missy says a mouthful. With that said, the show is actually quite realistic while also being very funny and is balanced with a sprinkle of sweet moments here and there.

One character who doesn’t appear in the pilot is Sheldon’s “foul-mouthed, hard-drinking Texas grandmother” (CBS’ words, not mine). Meemaw is played by Annie Potts which could be hilarious if the the series shows some restraint. In short, Young Sheldon is definitely worth checking out.

Young Sheldon airs Monday nights at 8:30 p.m. on CBS.

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