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‘The Walking Dead’

Whew. Marauding zombies and scheming servants have to duke it out for my “live” versus DVR loyalty only one more night. The second half of Season 3 of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” started at 9 p.m. last Sunday, toe-to-toe with PBS’ “Downton Abbey.” But Season 3 of “Downton” ends tonight. One show is genteel and the other is gory as all get-out. Both are first-rate dramas with sly humor and characters you come to care about, whether they are fighting social conventions or the undead. And were O’Brien to encounter Walkers, my money’s on the fierce lady’s maid.

Agnes Torres Al-Shibibi, Seattle Times desk editor

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T.R. Pearson, the great Southern writer (“A Short History of a Small Place,” “Gospel Hour”) serves up another of his eccentrically styled mysteries, set in the mountains of Virginia. This one — which opens with a luridly dressed, recently catapulted corpse being found in a treetop — is notably grislier than Pearson’s “Polar” or “True Cross.” But it’s still pleasurably convoluted and droll in its take on an underzealous sheriff, overzealous FBI agent and a variety of backwoods types who help, hinder or distract deputy Ray Tatum as he tracks down a serial killer with very peculiar tastes in fashion.

Michael Upchurch,
Seattle Times arts writer

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