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Interview: The Leading Lesbians of Cherry Bomb

Interview: The Leading Lesbians of Cherry Bomb

From a group of friends dishing on The L Word to shoring up their friendship at Dinah Shore three years ago, Tatum De Roeck, Dalila Ali Rajah, Nikki Caster, Gloria Bigelow and Bethany Landing have provided the community with something it was missing: Cherry Bomb, a View-like web series made by and for lesbians. 

From a group of friends dishing on The L Word to shoring up their friendship at Dinah Shore three years ago, Tatum De Roeck, Dalila Ali Rajah, Nikki Caster, Gloria Bigelow and Bethany Landing have provided the community with something it was missing: Cherry Bomb, a View-like Web series made by and for lesbians. With more than 40 episodes already under their designer belts, the Cherry Bomb gang gathers to discuss their formation, what makes the show such a hit that new episodes average 10,000 views and growing to air on Canada's OUTtv.

SheWired: What was the inspiration behind Cherry Bomb's creation?

DAR: I came up with idea almost three years ago when I was going through what co-host Tatum De Roeck dubbed as my lesbian adolescence. That period of time when you’re getting to know yourself as a queer woman, and trying to see how you fit in the community — and you’re acting like a ridiculous awkward inept teenager no matter how old you are! In multiple conversations with her and Gloria Bigelow I kept saying, “We should do a show where we talk about these issues.” We were going through many of these issues at the same time. There was nothing out there to help young queer women through this stuff. I wanted varying opinions, and thought a format similar to The View would work best. I took the idea to Bethany Landing, who, besides being a wonderful and experienced television producer for many years, is a good friend. As far as cast, Gloria and Tatum were a given, and I thought Nikki’s energy would be a great fit to stir things up.

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SW: How did the four of you meet?

DAR: Gloria and I went to college together, and have been best friends ever since. I met Tatum and Bethany at the Falcon on L Word night, and then we ended up having an incredibly memorable and friendship-sealing — tear-stained, liquor-laced — Dinah Shore later that year. Nikki was doing another show, and dating a friend of a friend when I met her. Her girlfriend at the time was helping her find people to interview in the rambunctious streets of West Hollywood on a Friday night, and I volunteered to help out.

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TDR: I've been friends with Bethany, the director, for about a million years and six months. We met Dalila just before our very first Dinah Shore. We took breaks from the poolside debauchery to sit around drink wine, discuss, debate, talk, critique and over-analyze just about everything. It's quite shocking to think it was drinking and excessive chatting that bonded us. I met Gloria on our first day of shooting Cherry Bomb.

Tatum De Roeck

SW: What are some of the topics that have been discussed on the show?

TDR: I think it might be easier to list the subjects we haven't talked about! We chat about everything from how to deal with an obsessed ex to sex toy etiquette. We've gotten into heated debates about crushes, what they mean to a relationship and if you can decide not to have them. We share our own stories, we share our friends' stories and we get guests to spill their relationship stories.

SW: What is it about the show that you think makes it so successful?

NC: First of all, we love what we do and are doing what we love. We've reached a market that is hungry to connect, to be understood and have a voice. Women from across the world and country have a place to go to for answers, information, to feel included and to be entertained. Cherry Bomb discusses it all ... and we love and appreciate our fans for continuously writing us, watching the show, and inspiring us to create and open more doors.

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BL: I think there’s a void out there for honest discussion about topics like what we talk about on Cherry Bomb. There are women out there that don’t have 40 lesbian/bi friends to discuss all their daily dramas and questions about their relationships. I think in those communities — where there’s no place to hang out or no one to talk to — we fill that void.

Bethany Landing

DAR: I think that we have very little programming that speaks to the needs of queer women, especially so candidly. I also think that much of what we talk about is universal even though we definitely talk about it from a same gender loving perspective. When my mother saw the first episode she said, “Well Dalila, we all go through that sh*t. I also think that the production value really makes a difference. Bethany Landing, our director and business partner, does an incredible job of making the show look amazing with very few resources.

Dalila ali Rajah

TDR: I think we talk about subjects that many gay and bisexual women relate to and we chat about them in a fun way. All of us on the show are quite different so there are lots of contrasting view points on topics like whether or not to live with your ex or how to read signs see if a girl is into you. We often share personal stories, some of the juicy ones we didn't mean to tell, but we thought it would be a great idea after three glasses of wine!

GB: I think that the show is successful because people feel like we are people that they know and we talk about the things that they are talking about with their friends — for people who may be knew to the community or who don't have queer friends — this is a chance for people to see themselves represented.

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SW: What do you enjoy about working on Cherry Bomb?

BL: As the director/producer I have a different perspective than the women on the couches of how the whole show goes down. I know all these girls and sometimes I just want to call them out on stuff for fun. Especially Tatum since she and I have been friends the longest. It’s hard to stay in my seat sometimes or to stay quiet because I have opinions and I just want to jump in there and say something. Or I find myself forgetting to watch the clock and cut them off because I’m enjoying listening to the conversation so much.

NC: All of it. The process since Day 1 and the journey we've gone through to get us to the present. I love the girls, the crew, our fans and that I get to share my voice. I'm me on the show, sharing real stories and real experiences ... all along open and learning so much from what Dalila, Tatum and Gloria bring to the couch.

Nikki Caster

DAR: Honey … where do you start? I’ve basically got a job where I hang out with my best friends drinking wine, and talking about issues that are interesting, fun and incredibly important to the community … with the bonus of knowing it’s filling a need for — well I started to say queer women, but really it’s more than that. We have gay and bi men who watch, too, and moms who are trying to understand their daughters and women who aren’t sure where they fall and find the advice or information applicable in any relationship. Being able to have fun, get a little tipsy and contribute something to the community is seriously my absolute dream job.

TDR: Oh it's a terrible job, I am forced to hang out with great people, drink great wine and talk about women. Help! Can someone get me out of here?!

GB: I enjoy working on the show because we have good wine and good conversation. How can you go wrong with that? The women are all wonderful, fun and honest and we honestly I believe just like to spend time together and the show gives us a chance to do it.

Gloria Bigelow

SW: How did Cherry Bomb connect with OUTtv in Canada?

BL: A former licensing person at OUTtv got in contact with me literally the day after Dalila and I started discussing branching out and looking for foreign distribution. We had been discussing U.S. distribution but the planets hadn’t aligned there yet and we started looking elsewhere. We were excited to make the deal with OUTtv because they’re Canada’s best gay and lesbian television and online social network. It’s a partnership we hope continues well into the future.

DAR: They actually contacted us. They thought it would be a great addition to their Women on Wednesdays.

Photos by Logan Alexander.

New episodes of Cherry Bomb begin July 31 and can be seen on, in addition to and

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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Lesley Goldberg