The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Hope for Dating – Season 1, Episode 1

In Hope for Dating, episode 1, we meet Yeon-Ae.

Yeon-Ae is extremely unlucky when it comes to men and dating. In fact, she is so inept at dating that she has inadvertently become an internet sensation for a fight she had with her boyfriend. Thus, in an effort to combat her bad luck, Yeon-Ae takes up “love counseling” and texts a mysterious man for love advice. However, unbeknownst to her, the man that she is receiving advice from is also kind of inept when it comes to affairs of the heart and he has his own fair share of love problems. So the question is, can these two truly help each other, or are these two just two hopeless disasters who will never find love?

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 1 passes the Bechdel and race test but does not pass the Russo test.

There are several occasions where named women talk to each other in episode 1 and there is one occasion where named women actually talk to each other without mentioning men (e.g. Do-Kyung asks Yeon-Ae if she is the octopus girl) so the episode passes the Bechdel test. Episode 1 also passes the race test and the episode passes this test because the entire cast is Asian and White people are never mentioned by any of the cast members.

As to the Russo test, episode 1 does not pass this test because there are 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.

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