Scott D. Pierce: 'Thrones,' 'Killing' are back; 'Scandal' debuts
So, you've heard that HBO's "Game of Thrones" (Sunday, 10 p.m.) is really good which it is and you wonder if you can jump in at the beginning of Season 2.
Nope. You'll be lost.
Even if you watched all 10 episodes of Season 1, Season 2 is confusing. There are so many characters, so much going on, so many plots that it's amazing George R.R. Martin's novels can be translated to the screen at all.
The action picks up where it left off 9Â½ months ago. Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) is on the throne in King's Landing, but there are other kings galore intent on either displacing him or carving out their own kingdoms. Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) has her dragons, but they're just babies and not of much use. Yet.
Plus, winter is coming and there's an ominous threat in the north.
It's great stuff. But if you didn't see Season 1, get the DVD or Blu-ray and watch it first.
Unless you've read the first book, because the series closely follows Martin's narrative.
"THE KILLING" (Sunday, 6 and 9 p.m., AMC) • The show ticked off some people when it didn't reveal who killed Rosie Larson last season.
For example, it ticked off some fanboy critics who insisted producer Veena Sud had promised a resolution. Which she did not.
Sud is promising we'll find out who the murderer is at the end of Season 2. And she's delivering more dark, moody mystery in the two-hour season premiere.
Not only is the killer still out there, but we don't know who faked evidence to make it appear that mayoral candidate Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell) did it. And those same people are stalking Detective Sarah Lindon (Mireille Enos), who's determined to uncover the truth.
"The Killing" is about how a murder affects a family, a political campaign and a city. If you have to know who the killer is at the end of an episode, watch "CSI." It's still a good show.
"SCANDAL" (Thursday, 9 p.m., ABC/Channel 4) • This show is, in a word, ludicrous. Overwrought to the point of being ridiculous.
This soap from creator/executive producer Shonda Rhimes ("Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice") centers on Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), a former White House communications director who runs her own crisis-management team. She says things like, "My gut tells me everything I need to know," and she's crazy self-righteous.
When she's not outwitting Russian mobsters and figuring out the secret in a Supreme Court nominee's past that he doesn't know himself using her almost-magical powers she's in the middle of a brewing scandal involving her former boss, the president of the United States (Tony Goldwyn).
If you like "Grey's Anatomy," you might like "Scandal." But only if you completely disregard common sense.
Scott D. Pierce covers television for The Salt Lake Tribune. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.