I find it inexplicably difficult to keep up with the dozen American TV shows I watch every week, even though they are delivered to my DVR for my anytime viewing pleasure and are also conveniently presented in English. So when a cacophony of AfterEllen.com readers started suggesting I track down the German soap Hand aufs Herz to watch Jenny (Lucy Scherer) and Emma (Kasia Borek), I did not feel adequate to the task.
Look, I have a deep fondness for Germany. I’ve traveled to Deutschland more than once and eaten the delicious sausages and drank the delicious beer and chatted with the delicious women and fallen into the Rhine River with a fully-loaded hiking backpack — but everyone kept describing Hand aufs Herz as “the German Glee” and, honestly, I almost always need subtitles to understand what the f–k is happening on American Glee, so it seemed like an awful lot of work. But Jenny and Emma fans would not be denied: They made me track down Hand aufs Herz.
I’m glad you did. So glad. But you guys were selling it all wrong.
Hand aufs Herz is like if Sue Sylvester got herself a gun and backed up all her magnificent one-liners with bullets, and then maybe sometimes buried the victims of her wrath under the school volleyball court. Which is to say: Hand aufs Herz is what would happen if Glee and Pretty Little Liars and Coronation Street had an Weizenbock-fueled threesome that produced a love child. Which is to say: Hand aufs Herz is maybe the greatest show ever invented.
So, let us tell the tale of Jenny and Emma. (Only, listen, be gentle with me if I mess up some stuff. I’ll get better at it. After only six months of recapping Coronation Street, I became a professional Mancunian-speaker. I expect I’ll be fluent in German by autumn.)
Emma is — let’s call Emma the opposite of Rachel Berry. She’s a member of STAG, her school’s glee club, but she’s shy and insecure about lots of things, including her vocal abilities. Also, she has no idea that she might be harboring homosexual tendencies, even though when we meet her she is wearing the gayest plaid button-up you ever did see. I mean, everyone knows a plaid button-up is like the global uniform of lesbians. In fact, if you’re reading this recap about kissing girls and wearing a plaid button-up and you’re not sure about your sexual orientation, let me just spell it out for you with a handy visual aid.