The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: A Witch’s Romance – Season 1, Episode 16

In the finale of A Witch’s Romance, Dong-Ha learned that Ji-Yeon had been accepted into a yearlong foreign journalism program, and while he was at first glad that Ji-Yeon wasn’t going to join the program, he later told her that he was returning to med school and that she should also accept the foreign journalism position. Dong-Ha reasoned, after all, that their relationship could handle the distance and Ji-Yeon agreed. Ji-Yeon thus went off to England for a year and when it was time for Ji-Yeon to return to South Korea, Ji-Yeon mysteriously disappeared and Dong-Ha was unable to reach her.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 16 passed the Bechdel and race test but did not pass the Russo test.

There were a couple of occasions where named women talked to each other and there was one instance where named women both talked to each other and did not mention men (e.g., Ji-Yeon told her mother that she looked pretty) so the episode (consequently) passed the Bechdel test. Episode 16 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 characters).

As to the Russo test, episode 16 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.