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Weekend Playlist: Downton Abbey, Lifetime's Amish Murder, Portlandia, and More

Shirley Maclaine, Maggie Smith | Photo Credits: PBS

Downton Abbey survived World War I. But can the country manor weather the latest skirmish, a below-stairs battle between those scheming servants O’Brien and Thomas?

That’s just one of the many entertaining questions and diverting dilemmas presented by the long-awaited — and well worth the wait — third season of this Masterpiece Classic addiction, which returns like a delicious if bittersweet bonbon. (And how I hope you’ve kept the blinders on regarding the many spoilers issuing from across the pond during the recent U.K. telecast.)

“No family is ever what it seems from the outside,” muses the formidable Dowager Countess (the peerless Maggie Smith) during one of the many crises that beset the Crawleys and their loyal servants over the next seven Sundays (PBS, check tvguide.com listings).

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