As universal expansion is central to the big bang theory, it is only fitting that the Big Bang Theory Universe (Big Bang-verse?) itself expands today with the arrival of the Young Sheldon prequel. Taking place in 1989, we will get our first glimpse of the boy that became the man-child Sheldon Cooper.
In honor of this new TV prequel, we’re taking a look back at the best and worst TV show prequels.
Star Trek: Enterprise (2001-05)
Set over 100 years before the adventures of Kirk and Spock, Enterprise gave fans a glimpse at the formation of the Federation. While the show wasn’t objectively bad, it failed to capture the magic of the franchise, featuring stories that ultimately didn’t matter as they were all already resolved in other shows.
Better Call Saul (2015-Present)
Breaking Bad might be one of the best TV series of all time, but even we were skeptical of the idea of building a whole prequel series centered around sleazy criminal lawyer Saul Goodman. But boy, were we wrong. By equal measures dark, quirky, funny, and heartbreaking, the journey of Jimmy McGill to Saul Goodman has proven to be as good as (and maybe even better than) Breaking Bad.
The Carrie Diaries (2013-14)
The hardest part for any prequel, TV or otherwise, is to prove why that story needs to be told. After six seasons (and two movies) it didn’t seem there was much more to say about Carrie Bradshaw, and this show proved that to be true.
Say what you will about the dancing robot ending of Battlestar Galactica (there are frequent debates about it here at Yahoo), the short-lived prequel deepened the mythology of the 12 colonies of Kobol and the Cylons, all while exploring complex themes such as race and religion.
Fear the Walking Dead (2015-Present)
You would think the beginning of the walker apocalypse would be a terrifying, thrill-a-minute experience, well, Fear the Walking Dead proved you wrong. With boring characters, listless plots, and so far zero direct connections with The Walking Dead, this prequel somehow continues on like some kind of undead thing… (We’re sure there’s a term for it, but we’ve yet to hear it on either show.)
Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies (1984-91)
There aren’t enough superlatives to describe the magic of this animated prequel to The Muppet Show. From hilarious dream sequences featuring homages (as well as outright clips) of our favorite movies to adorable songs, this show defined a generation. It’s one of pop culture’s greatest tragedies that this show isn’t available on DVD yet.
Let us know what you think of our picks and share your favorite TV prequel in the comments below.