30 December 1999 | Liedzeit
Beloved Monster Alfred
This is by far the best and curiously also one of the most popular German TV series ever. When it came out it caused a big scandal since here for the first time ever a typical German family from the Ruhrgebiet (the family lives in Gelsenkirchen but father is a fan of Hertha BSC Berlin) was watched. Heinz Schubert in the role of his life (it would follow him to his death) plays the small family Napoleon with a brilliance that has become legendary and proverbial. He is politically interested but mainly to support his already existing conservative views. He is against foreigners, certainly against Social democrats, he sees himself as the ideal German and everybody should try to be like him, honest hard working with a keen view of how things really are. His no-good son in law (Diether Krebs who later became a comedian but mainly wasted his talent) stands for everything that is bad in Germany in his view. Liberalism and Socialism mainly but he is the only one who can cope with him on an intellectual level. Certainly not his wife whom he despises because of her stupidity and not his daughter who is modern, liberal but just as stupid as her mother.
In every episode there was some small crisis, a visit from relative of East Germany, a not working TV set, preparations for Silver jubilee. And it was always just a forum for Alfred Tetzlaff to get his hilarious views across e.g. that Willy Brandt was an East German spy. It was a satire and of course mainly misunderstood. In a time influenced by the 68 revolution it was a welcome change to have someone to express the views of the silent majority. Even if we were supposed to laugh about it. Probably no one would admit that he was caricatured by Alfred so it certainly did not have any educational value in this respect. But we the children watching it learned more from it then ever at school. About arguing, even if on a low level, about different opinions, even stupid ones and that politics are a substantial, crucial part of our lives even if misunderstood.
The show was written by Wolfgang Menge who can claim to be the best and most controversial writer of post war Germany. We love him.