Somer Bingham of “The Real L Word” talks backstabbing, bitchery and Babeland

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Photo courtesy of Showtime

Showtime’s hit series, The Real L Word, has brought us three seasons of hot lesbian action (and some not-so-hot lesbian drama). This season, the ladies in L.A. whom we’ve come to know, love and sometimes throw shade at, aren’t the only ones in the spotlight. New York has found its place in front of the cameras in the form of gal pal rockers Hunter Valentine.

The band has certainly given us more eye candy but they’ve also brought a lot of new drama and backstabbing to the table. We got to talk to one of the band’s newest members, keyboardist Somer Bingham, who has not only been at the very center of the inter-band drama, but who is also one of the most likeable cast member on the show thus far. She tells us what it’s like to have your life critiqued by passionate RLW fans, seeing your friends talk about you behind your back from the comfort of your living room, and even answers a few questions from some of our AfterEllen.com readers.

AfterEllen.com: How are you doing?
Somer Bingham: Oh I can’t complain. I always over-caffeinate for interviews so I’m in a really good mood. I’m excited to talk to you!

AE: Yeah I’m excited to talk to you too! I think it’s kind of funny that you tweeted something recently about how truth can be too easily undermined by the vehicle in which it is delivered – and tagged it with things Nietzsche might say. Now, was that in reference to the show? Because it’s definitely one way to think about The Real L Word and reality TV in general.
SB: Yeah. When we see something on a reality show, it doesn’t matter if it’s the truth. If you’re saying something bad about another person, or saying stuff behind each other’s backs, it always comes off poorly. I was always hyper-aware of that when I was doing interviews. I never wanted it to come off badly, even if I had a strong opinion about something. [Laughs] Instead of calling someone a bitch, I would say something like, “Well, we don’t see eye to eye today.” [Laughs]

Photo courtesy of Showtime

AE: Sure that’s one way of putting it. Actually that’s funny because  after the first episode I appeared on of Live Rude Girls, our recap show, which I know you saw, Kiyomi tweeted a response to our comment that the editing made her look like a bitch. While something (and I’m not sure if it was editing) continued to make her look like a bitch – I have to say that a bunch of years ago, I met her and she was actually very nice in person. But I also got a little bit embarrassed to think that any of you were watching us talk about you. Is it weird to have strangers talking about you and having such strong opinions about your life?

SB: Oh, definitely. It is really weird to see people comment on your behavior and say I’m a douchey person who doesn’t wear makeup. I can be a brat and I do overreact about my equipment, so I can’t say, “Oh they made me look like a dick.” [Laughs] I mean, I can be a dick.

Kiyomi had some lows, and I had some lows. And when they interacted, it was like World War III. The thing that’s tricky is that we’re not characters and we’re not acting, [and we] can’t blame the director or producer for making us do things or writing things for us. It’s not like I’m Al Pacino and got cast in a really shitty role. Anything they show us doing and saying, we’re actually doing and saying. They might be splicing things from one day [with] another day, but they’re still things we said.

AE: It was really hard for me to watch most of the scenes where you and the rest of the band were interacting, or they were interacting behind your back. To me, it seemed almost like an abusive relationship with a girlfriend. It seems like you’re able to somehow be mature and rise above a lot of the bullshit and I don’t know how you do it. You obviously had history with Kiyomi before the show, but how does it feel to watch the episodes?
SB: I have to be honest, there’s a great scene where I’m fixing the keyboard and Kiyomi asked me a question and then is saying something under her breath to Vero and wasn’t even paying attention to me. I had no idea so I was just like, “Damn it she wasn’t even listening to me!” [Laughs]


Photo courtesy of Showtime

AE: Yeah, they were just like putting temporary tattoos on each other in the other room.
SB: Yeah and I was laughing watching the episode because it was like, “Why did they even ask me a question?” So it’s really bizarre to watch that kind of stuff because I think I can understand the situation a little bit better now and see a different perspective.

But it’s also really frustrating. It’s like, here are my friends and bandmates and we’re always clashing and having respect issues. So what’s the source of it and why does it always have to be a behind-the-back thing? Why can’t people just say things to each other’s faces and be honest about what’s going on? I’m seeing a lot of mixed signals and I still don’t understand some of them but we’ve moved past it.

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