Extremly popular 1970s sitcom referring to many political and social issues through the eyes of an average German family. Alfred Tetzlaff is a narrow-minded, reactionary patriarch living ... See full summary »
Extremly popular 1970s sitcom referring to many political and social issues through the eyes of an average German family. Alfred Tetzlaff is a narrow-minded, reactionary patriarch living together with his naive wife Else, their daughter Rita and her husband Michael, who emigrated from communist East Germany,...and constantly arguing with them. Written by
THE legendary German comedy sitcom, produced between 1973 and 1976. Although based on an earlier English show called "Till death us do part", "Ein Herz und eine Seele" ("One heart and one soul", a German expression for perfect harmony) is original and unique in its own right. Probably one of the most popular shows in German TV history, even after thirty years it is still aired regularly to this day, and every year its New Years' episode is right up on schedule just like "Dinner for one."
The show itself is centered around a man called Alfred Tetzlaff (played by the late Heinz Schubert who passed away in February 1999) who lives in the Ruhrgebiet in western Germany, together with his wife Else, his daughter Rita and his son-in-law Michael, who coincidentally is also his favorite target for political discussions and insults. Alfred Tetzlaff behaves like a small-scale king, and with his radical attitude, the intention is for him to represent the conservative Germans of the post-war generation, who became more and more outdated after their kids had taken over the nation in the late sixties / early seventies.
So that feisty character Alfred Tetzlaff, overpowered by the socialist movement in the country he once was proud of living in, has nothing left to do but criticize, insult and blame everybody and everything: German politicians, foreigners in Germany, foreigners outside of Germany, blacks in Africa, the English, the French, and so on. He is in constant trouble with shopkeepers, neighbors, police forces and, of course, his family members, who he describes as idiots (wife, daughter) and anarchists (son-in-law), respectively. At one point he compares talking to his wife and talking to a kangaroo in the zoo as not being any different.
Being small of height, and with his army hair cut and trimmed mustache, Tetzlaff looks Hitler-esque, which is no coincidence. He represents the Germany of the post-war generation, governed by chancellor Konrad Adenauer, and Tetzlaff obeys the power of the government - if they are not social democrats - and despises anything that resembles revolution or anarchy. Even today, it is still amusing to hear Tetzlaff curse Arabs, social democrats, Russians, and virtually anyone who happens to cross his path - Heinz Schubert is one of Germany's finest actors of all time.
This concept of a wiseguy who judges the world from his kitchen table has been re-used in another brilliant and very successful TV show of the mid-nineties, called "Familie Heinz Becker", written and starred by German comedian Gerd Dudenhöffer.
To summarize: Alfred Tetzlaff dislikes everyone, and everyone dislikes old show-off know-it-all Tetzlaff, who once "revealed" to his unwanted son-in-law that Walter Ulbricht (former head of state of East Germany) had been a spy of the United States. So in conclusion, I can definitely recommend that everyone should experience the nastiness of "Ekel Alfred" (best translated with "Alfred, the bas***d") if they have a chance to watch it.
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