The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Hannibal, “Primavera” – Season 3, Episode 2

Hannibal, “Primavera” was all kinds of weird and grisly (though, to be fair, when is Hannibalnot weird and grisly?). In the episode, Will, Hannibal and Abigail’s confrontation from last season was rehashed; Will chased after Hannibal and found a clue in Italy; and Will found an unexpected ally, or rather, an ally found him.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Primavera” did not pass the Bechdel, Russo or race test.

“Primavera” failed to pass the Bechdel, Russo and race test for obvious reasons – because there was only one woman (Abigail) and non-White character (the medical doctor who spoke to Will) in the episode and because there were no LGBTI characters in “Primavera.”

*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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