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Series / Ein Herz und eine Seele

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Clockwise, starting at the bottom: "Ekel Alfred", his daughter Rita, his wife Else a.k.a. "dusselige Kuh", his son-in-law Michael.

Ein Herz und eine Seele (One Heart and One Soul) is a West German TV series, produced from 1973 to 1976. Being a Foreign Remake of the Brit Com Till Death Us Do Part (meaning yes, this is technically the German All in the Family), 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.

Like Stromberg 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 "Silvesterpunsch" 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" 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:

  • Insistent Terminology:
  • Malaproper: Alfred talking about "Uranda-Burundi". He mixes up Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.
  • The Napoleon: Alfred; lampshaded in the Carnival episode, when he wears a Napoleon costume.
  • National Anthem: In one episode, Alfred sings the Horst-Wessel-Lied. As to be expected from him, he starts with the banned first verse (the actual German national anthem only consists of the third verse). Michael taunts him by claiming that it's for both West and East Germany because it mentions Germany twice in the first line.
  • 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...
  • New Year Has Come: "Silvesterpunsch". Also, just like Dinner for One, this episode has been shown on TV every New Year's Eve for decades now.
  • Precision F-Strike: Alfred can drop these while at the same time insisting that his own spoken language is perfectly squeaky-clean.
  • 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.
  • Studio Audience: Can be seen at the beginning and the end of each episode. (By the way, the people of The '70s were apparently quite fond of bright colours...)
  • Tastes Like Feet: According to Alfred, pizza tastes like a wool blanket that has been peed on.