Ein Herz und eine Seele
(One Heart and One Soul
) is a West German Live-Action TV
-series, produced from 1973 to 1976
. Being a Foreign Remake
of the Brit Com Till Death Us Do Part
, it is notable for bringing the Sitcom
format to Germany.
The series deals with the everyday life of the reactionary and stubborn working class man Alfred Tetzlaff, his wife Else
, his daughter Rita and his leftist son-in-law Michael.
three decades later, this series is one of the very few German sitcom remakes
that are actually good
. This fondly remembered series can often be seen rerun in German tv to this day. Especially the episodes "Sylvesterpunsch" and "Rosenmontagszug" are always broadcasted at the holidays during which their plots take place (New Year's Eve and the final day of Carnival, respectively). More recently, the episode "Besuch aus der Ostzone", in which Michael's parents from the
East Zone GDR
visit the Tetzlaffs, seems to have been repurposed as the holiday episode for the Day of German Unity
Ein Herz und eine Seele contains the following tropes:
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Else and Alfred dancing tango at the end of the New Year's Eve episode.
- Christmas Episode: Well, New Year's Eve episode, but close enough.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Alfred likes to give us hilarious "insights" into the then-contemporary politics.
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: Alfred. He even puts food that landed on the floor back into the pot.
- Crazy Cultural Comparison: Inevitable when Michael's East German parents visit. Alfred thinks that people from Commie Land have no concept of personal property, because they don't even exclusively own their living room furniture.
- Cultural Posturing: While it should be no surprise that Alfred is prone to this, there is a hilarious dialogue between Else and Michael's East German mother, in which the latter does this unconsciously by assuming that every important German landmark is in the eastern part of the country.
- Deadpan Snarker: Michael (Frankly, if Alfred Tetzlaff were your father-in-law, you would probably become one too...)
- Dirty Commies: The rather conservative Alfred considers actual communists as well as everyone else who is leftist to be this.
- The Ditz: Else; Alfred's (not very nice) nickname for her (dusselige Kuh) could be even translated as ditzy cow.
- Dysfunctional Family: Although to be fair, Else, Rita and Michael get along quite well...
- Fan Nickname: Ekel Alfred (Jerk Alfred)
- Foreign Remake: Of the Brit Com Till Death Us Do Part.
- German Dialects: Michael's mother speaks with a Saxon accent, in a way mirroring Else's slight North German accent.
- The Ghost: The Tetzlaff's neighbour, Mrs. Suhrbier.
- Granola Girl: Michael is a Granola Boy, at least in the eyes of Alfred, because Michael is a member of the SPD (the mainstream social-democratic party in Germany) and happens to originate from the GDR.
Halloween Episode Holiday When It Is Custom To Wear Costumes Episode
- Hilarity Ensues: Quite often.
- Insistent Terminology: Alfred only refers to the GDR as the Ostzone (East Zone), thereby implying that he sees East Germany still just as Soviet-occupied territory instead of a legitimate state. (A hot issue in pre-reunified Germany.)
- The Napoleon: Alfred; lampshaded in the Carnival episode, when he wears a Napoleon costume.
- National Stereotypes: Alfred seems to believe in many of them, mostly the negative ones.
- Averted in case of Greece, because they were a dictatorship back in the 70's, thus earning Alfred's praise because "they get things done" and there aren't any "sozis" there. Now talk about Hilarious in Hindsight...
- The Other Darrin: The actors for Else and Michael were replaced for the second season. The series got cancelled soon thereafter.
- Real-Life Relative: Hildegard Krekel and Diether Krebs, playing Rita and Michael respectively, were actually girlfriend and boyfriend in real life.
- Standardized Sitcom Housing: Not quite. While the living room is at the right, and the kitchen at the left side of the stage, the front door is at the end of a corridor between those two rooms. The tv-set is in the rear left corner of the living room.
- Star-Making Role: This show kicked off the career of Diether Krebs (playing Michael) who went on to become a famous actor in Germany.
- Studio Audience: Can be seen at the beginning and the end of each episode. (By the way, the people of The Seventies were apparently quite fond of bright colours...)
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Alfred Tetzlaff, so much that his Fan Nickname is even Ekel Alfred (Jerk Alfred).