The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Twenty Again – Season 1, Episode 16

In the finale of Twenty Again, loose ends were tied up. No-Ra and Hyun-Suk reconciled and started dating each other; Min-Soo dropped out of college and found a job; Yi-Jin and Woo-Chul apologized to each other; Hye-Mi put more effort into her grades; Soon-Nam decided to go into production instead of becoming a civil servant; No-Ra took over the spice rice cake restaurant; and Hyun-Suk completed his play.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

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

Woo-Chul catches Yi-Jin spying on him.

There were a couple of named women in episode 16 and there were a few instances where some of these named women talked to each other. Of the few instances that named women talked to each other, there were three occasions where men were not mentioned (e.g., No-Ra congratulated Sang-Ye on the play production and Yoon-Young told No-Ra on two separate occasions that she wouldn’t be able to take her [No-Ra] to visit her grandmother’s memorial) so the episode passed the Bechdel test. Episode 16 also passed the race test, and the episode passed this test because while a White person was mentioned once or twice, the entire cast of episode 16 was Asian so there were numerous instances where non-White people talked to each other without mentioning White people.

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.

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