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Series / Vrienden Voor Het Leven

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Ellen and Eddie
Vrienden voor het leven (Friends for life) was a Dutch sitcom that aired in the early half of the 1990’s.

The series, which is a Dutch remake of the British series The Two of Us, focuses on the lives of young adults Eddie and Ellen. In the first episodes they are just in love and living together, but later they marry and even have a son. Other important characters are Eddie’s relatives like his old fashioned mother, his absent minded father and his grandfather, and his coworker Paul.

Vrienden voor het leven provides examples of:

  • All Men Are Perverts: Eddie’s father usually appears to be uninterested in what people tell him, but talk about sex and you have his undivided attention.
  • Auction: one episode started with Eddie going to an auction to buy a trunk, but getting so caught up in the bidding that he instead buys an ugly vase, which becomes the focus of the episode.
  • Big Blackout: one episode, the whole province is hit by a blackout for the entire episode. And since Ellen and Eddie only have an electric stove, they have to find alternative ways to get their planned evening dinner.
  • The Cat Came Back: the ugly vase mentioned above; Eddie and Ellen try to get rid of it by giving it to Eddie’s parents, who give it to grandfather, who gives it to his girlfriend, who donates it to a recycling store, where it is eventually bought by Paul and given to Eddie as a birthday present.
  • Cool Old Guy: Eddie’s grandfather, who in sharp contrast to his daughter has perfectly adapted to the standards of modern times. He is also not afraid to try his hands at (extreme) sports and parties, and frequently invites ladies over in his house.
  • Conscription: although Eddie has already served his time in the military prior to the series, one episode resolved around him and several other men being re-conscripted for a refreshments training.
  • Conspicuous Trenchcoat: Eddie once used one of these, combined with sunglasses, to leave the house unnoticed out of fear a potential burglar might see him and consider him an easy target. Ellen quickly points out his "disguise" will make him stick out like a sour thumb.
  • Cult: one episode resolved around Eddie’s father joining a cult to get back at his wife for not letting him go on a fishing trip. However, when Eddie followed him to “the sacred temple” he found out the cult was nothing more than just a group of middle aged men meeting in a café, using the cult as an excuse to get away from their dominant wives.
  • Doom It Yourself: Eddie's own attempt at making an anti-burglar alarm, complete with weapons like axes, a crossbow and a trident. Also his own attempt at fixing the tv when it's broken, seemingly resulting in a Big Blackout (it's later revealed the blackout was not his fault, but his attempt at fixing the tv still failed)
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Eddie gets to deal with one in the episode where he is re-conscripted.
  • Foreign Remake: the series is a remake of a British series.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Ellen’s parents both love to use English words.
  • Henpecked Husband: Eddie’s father.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: although we never actually see any of them, Paul apparently has a lot of brothers, cousins or other relatives, all of which have chosen a very different career path. As a result of this, every time Eddie needs something, Paul happens to have a relative who can arrange whatever Eddie needs for a small price.
  • Married at Sea: Eddie and Ellen’s first attempt at marriage involved this.
  • May–December Romance: Eddie’s grandfather and his new girlfriend Joyce.
  • Men Can't Keep House: when Ellen returns from a trip to Africa, she finds the house a big mess.
  • Neat Freak: Eddie's mom. During the blackout mentioned above, she completely panicked over the fact that the washing machine and vacuum cleaner no longer worked, and franatically tried to clean the living room with a dustpan.
  • Noodle Incident: apparently, one of Paul’s many brothers once arranged a race horse for Eddie and Ellen, which was in such bad condition it had to be taken to a vet because of hyperventilation.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: Eddie and Paul's boss Mr. van Steunzolen: he is always grumpy, never satisfied, and loves to make his employees work late. He also can't remember Eddies last name, and thus keeps calling him by different wrong names over the course of the series.
  • Police Lineup: one episode ended with Eddie, his father, and his grandfather all ending up in the same lineup of suspects of a robbery, and Eddie’s mother being the victim who had to identify her robber. Her reaction when she sees her son, husband and father in the lineup is priceless.
  • The Quiet One: Eddie’s father rarely speaks.
  • Sexy Secretary: Barbera, the secretary of Eddie and Paul’s boss.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Ellen’s parents love to show off their wealth and look down on Eddie and his family. Ellen herself however averts the trope; she is very down to earth, perfectly happy with her simple lifestyle, and greatly concerned about things like the environment.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: Just when Ellen is about to board a plane to Africa to spend several months there helping the local people, Eddie proposes to her using the airports intercom. Unfortunately for him, Ellen still insists on going and boards the plane without replying.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: used by Eddie as a disguise when he follows his father to the "sacred temple" of the cult he has joined (see above).