The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Liar Game (Korean), “Layoff Game I” – Season 1, Episode 5

On Liar Game, “Layoff Game I,” all of the Liar Game contestants (except for Woo-Jin) competed to see who would continue onto the next round and who would be eliminated. It is safe to say that Da-Jung didn’t do so well without the guidance of Woo-Jin.

As to Woo-Jin, while everyone else was playing in the game, he was off investigating the fates of all of the eliminated contestants (i.e., the contestants who had lost thus far), and what he found was disturbing – three of the eliminated contestants had completely disappeared without a trace. So the question is, what exactly is happening to the eliminated contestants?

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Layoff Game I” passed the Bechdel and race test but did not pass the Russo test.

There were several named women in “Layoff Game I” and there was an instant or two where named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., when Jaime and Da-Jung made a bet with each other) so the episode passed the Bechdel test.

“Layoff Game I” also passed the race test, and the episode passed this test because the entire cast was Asian, and White people were never mentioned by any of the cast members.

As to the Russo test, “Layoff Game I” did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in the episode.

*The Bechdel test entails three requirements:
1. It has to have at least two (named) women in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something besides a man

**The Vito Russo test entails three requirements:
1. The show contains a character that is identifiably lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex and/or transgender
2. The character must not be solely or predominately defined by her sexual orientation, gender identity and/or as being intersex
3.The character must be tied into the plot in such a way that her removal would have a significant effect

***The race or people of color (POC) test has three requirements:
1. It has two people of color in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something other than a White person

****Just because a show passes the Bechdel, Russo and race test does not mean that it is not sexist, heterosexist, racist and/or cissexist, etc. The Bechdel, Russo and race test is only a bare minimum qualifier for the representation of LGBTI individuals, women and people of color in television. The failure to pass these tests also does not identify whether the central character was a woman, a person of color or a LGBTQI individual and it does not dictate the quality of the show.