Sitcom kids aren’t often very appealing. They’re usually either blandly realistic and serve solely as plot devices, or they’re ridiculously smart, self aware, and integral to the show’s comedy (for better or worse). Rarely does a child actor and his/her character come across as both realistic and entertainingly bright. One of the rare examples of just such a combination can be found in the series The Courtship of Eddie’s Father which stars Bill Bixby as the father and Brandon Cruz as little Eddie. In ran for three seasons in the late sixties/early seventies, and was based on the 1963 film starring Glenn Ford and Ron Howard (which in turn was based on a novel by Mark Toby). Warner Archive has begun releasing the series to MOD DVD (manufactured on demand) starting with the Complete First Season. I can’t speak for seasons two and three yet, but the show’s first 26 episodes are some of the most charming, witty, and warm television I’ve seen in some time. The father and son relationship is captured beautifully in both dialogue and visuals, but mostly in the stellar performances of the two stars. Bixby and Cruz seem at home with one another and play off each others expressions and tones perfectly. It’s sweet, funny, and smart, and has quickly become one of my favorite shows from decades past.