Teen Wolf returned in all of its cheesy glory tonight in “Creatures of the Night.” In the episode, Scott, Lydia, Kira, Stiles, Mila and Liam reunited at school for an old senior tradition while a storm raged around them, and unbeknownst to them, a new foe was on the hunt for Scott.
The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test
“Creatures of the Night” passed the Bechdel and race test but did not pass the Russo test.
There were three occasions where women talked to each other in “Creatures of the Night” (when Kira talked to her parents and Kira and Lydia talked to each other), and on one of those occasions named women talked only to each other and did not mention men (e.g., Kira asked Lydia if signing her [Kira’s] name on a library bookshelf was vandalism) so the episode passed the Bechdel test. “Creatures of the Night” also passed the race test, and the episode passed this test because there were three different instances where non-White characters talked to each other without mentioning White people. For example, Kira talked to her parents on two different occasions about school and an old fable, and Scott asked Kira whether or not she had had fun in New York.
When it comes to the Russo test, “Creatures of the Night” did not pass this test, and the episode 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.