The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Faking It, “Faking It…Again” – Season 2, Episode 16

On Faking It, “Faking It…Again,” Karma and Amy once again pretended that they were dating, but this time they did so in an effort to save face for Karma’s mom who was the president of PFLAG.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Faking It…Again” passed the Bechdel and Russo test but did not pass the race test.

There were numerous named women in “Faking It…Again” and several instances where some of these named women talked to each other without mentioning men so the episode easily passed the Bechdel test. The episode also, obviously, passed the Russo test, and “Faking It…Again” passed this test because there were two LGBTI characters in the episode (Amy and Lauren) who were not solely defined as being LGBTI and whose removal from the episode would have significantly affected “Faking It…Again’s” plot. For example, Amy and Lauren weren’t solely defined as being LGBTI because they were also defined by their roles as daughters and their removal would have significantly impacted the plot as the main storyline revolved around Amy faking a relationship with Karma and Lauren forcing Amy’s mom to confess to her (Lauren’s) dad about having an affair.*****

While “Faking It…Again” passed the Bechdel and Russo test, it did not pass the race test, and the episode did not pass this test because there were no non-White people 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.

*****Shane was also in the episode, and while it can be argued that he was not solely defined by his sexual orientation, his removal from the episode would not have significantly affected the plot so he did not pass the Russo test.

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