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

 
 

AE: That’s really mature and I think that seems to go along with your personality in general on the show. Do you feel like you have been accurately portrayed on the show? You are easily one of the most likable people featured. Maybe this is just from corresponding with you over email and reading your Tweets, but I feel like they missed out on showing your sense of humor. There’s a lot of you being serious on the show and I think it would be nice to show how funny you are.

SB: I think they should give me a spin-off right? I hope the executives are listening right now and will say, “Obviously, this chick needs her own show.” [Laughs] I get disappointed occasionally that some funny prank I pulled didn’t make it into the show, or some really witty, intellectual remark was edited. But the producers have the creative control. I signed up in order to have more [music] exposure. I didn’t sign up to be a reality TV star.

AE: I think it’s apparent you didn’t go on the show to become a reality star, but to actually get work done and promote your music. Do you feel like there there are other cast members who got a bum rap or whose personalities haven’t gotten developed on the show?

SB: I guess I’d say Vero. She’s been sort of the biggest underdog on the cutting room floor. Of all the people in the band, she was always the one who brought out the more extroverted sides of us. When the cameras were rolling, she just stayed “Vero.” [And] she was running off and talking to her girlfriend long distance, so a lot of her story is just her being supportive. She’s really sweet and very private. She’s actually hysterically funny.


Photo courtesy of Showtime

AE: Yeah, well this is probably going to sound awful but there were a few times towards the beginning of the season where she would show up on screen and I’d be like, “Who is that? Where did she come from?” [Laughs]

SB: I think part of the reason she wasn’t featured more is because she gets along with everyone really well. She is my closest comrade [in the band], you know? There’s nothing except this really sweet, funny person who just kind of hangs out with everyone. She’s like the Scarlett of the East Coast.

AE: Oh my God. I love Scarlett. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit this but I was in LA recently and saw Scarlett out at a bar. I actually didn’t see the show when she was on it so I didn’t really know who she was. But when I saw her in person, I was like, “Oh my god she is so beautiful.” And I never hit on people but apparently that night I had enough liquid courage to go up to her. I’m pretty sure I just stood there like a puppy dog. It just figures that the one person I would choose to go up to was someone who has been on The Real L Word and of course has a girlfriend. She was very sweet though.

It’s kind of unfortunate that nice people who don’t have drama with other people don’t manage to get a lot of camera time. I mean, you seem like a nice person but you had drama surrounding you and that’s what makes for good TV.
SB: I have a question for the audience I guess. I don’t understand: Some people love characters who create drama like Rose and Natalie, [who fought] all the time. And then, some people get bored when they see normal, healthy relationships like Cori and Kacy. So, I’m not sure what makes really great reality television. You know what I’m saying?

AE: Yeah, I guess we complain about a lot of the drama because it’s hard to watch. But at the same time, it makes us feel better about our own reality because their drama is so much worse.

SB: Right, well I didn’t really watch the show before I was on it. I liked Tracy and Stamie from the first season. I didn’t connect with the rich people [Nikki and Jill] planning their wedding – I mean, we planned ours on a budget and I’ve never been attracted to that lifestyle. So I didn’t have much to watch that I connected to.

So, it’s funny because you have people complaining each season when certain people are brought back, and it’s all over the board. How do they pick the seasons? Do you know? Can you tell me? [Laughs]

AE: Girl, I don’t know much about anything. In life. I used to watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians and I hate myself for it.
SB: Don’t hate yourself! I try to only preach love. I watch a lot of reality television but like really nerdy shit. I also love Law & Order and I’m addicted to Arrested Development. Even if it’s a lesbian show, I won’t watch it just because it has lesbians on it. I don’t know. I’m not a lesbian, Brooklynite musician. I’m just a…

AE: A person?
SB: Right, I’m just a person who happens to be a lesbian, happens to live in Brooklyn and happens to be a musician. It’s not a big part of my self-reflective view. I’m just somebody who tries to make cool art.


Photo courtesy of Hunter Valentine

AE: Right, you are who you are, but when you’re creating things for a broad audience, you want everyone to be able to connect with it. And that has nothing to do with who you’re sleeping with. I mean, as a listener, it’s nice to have people making music who are visible parts of our community. But from an actual musical perspective, it goes way beyond any checkbox on a bio sheet, so you need it to be heard beyond sexual orientation. You can’t just put it in a box with the rest of the “queer” bands.

SB: I absolutely agree with you. I don’t have a problem with people being excited about us being gay but I find it limiting from a personal perspective to only try to reach a specific part of the population. When I create it, I’m just self-reflecting. So, when I make art, yes, I hope people will listen to it, but I’m not gearing it towards one person or group of people.

But, I always love it when someone from a queer magazine or a queer podcast gets excited about our music and wants to write about it or play our songs. I think that’s so rad.

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