TV Club: Vinyl suffers from Forrest Gump syndrome in an episode with too many famous people

Like Vinyl, Terence Winter’s Boardwalk Empire regularly featured its fictional characters rubbing elbows with historical figures, so much that gangsters Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, and Meyer Lansky were all part of the main cast. And that’s to say nothing of Bugsy Siegel, J. Edgar Hoover, and politicians such as Harry Daugherty and Warren G. Harding. Vinyl has kept its real-life characters more on the periphery thus far, resigned to bit parts and the occasional recurring role. So how come the historical-fiction conceit of tonight feels so out of place? How come, whenever a real musician begins interacting with someone made-up, the show starts to feel like Forrest Gump?

It’s sure not the performances. While Zebedee Row’s chauvinistic-peacock take on Robert Plant was ultimately cartoonish, Dustin Ingram brings a geekier realism to Alice Cooper in “Whispered Secrets,” drawing out the intelligence and Midwestern modesty the shock-rocker exhibited …

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