8 May 2007 | Thorsten-Krings
The adventures of the Hesselbach family must be one of the longest running German series ever. It started in the late 40s as a radio serial, then went to the big screen (alas most of the films are lost today) and then for a ten year run on TV. Normally, Germans and humor just don't go together that's why it is even more surprising that here we have a true gem of comedy. Set in the context of the Hesselbach family running a small printing firm somewhere near Frankfurt, author Wolf Schmidt tells everyday stories about the absurdity of family and business life. Normally, humor ages fast so it's surprising that the timing is still right (comedy has become much faster paced in the last few years) it is still relevant (particularly his observations on business), intelligent and witty. Although Germany's past is never prominent there, it pops up now and then with some quite wry observations. Schmidt himself was never entirely happy with his success as he was typecast as "Babba" Hesselbach and never really succeeded in another role. Lia Wöhr and Liesel Christ of course became famous as actors in their regional dialect. Helga Neuner (Helga Hesselbach) also was in the fetish-horror film "The horrors of Spider Island". If you look at the format of the German family comedy, presently most prominent with "Familie Heinz Becker", it becomes apparent that Familie Hesselbach still is the standard which no other show has reached yet.