The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The Originals, “For the Next Millennium” – Season 3, Episode 1

In the opening episode of season 3 of The Originals, “For the Next Millennium,” Klaus and Elijah were on bad speaking terms with each other; a vampire serial killer was out on the loose and Camille was consulting on the case; someone was hunting werewolves; and the local coven rebelled against Davina.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“For the Next Millennium” passed the Bechdel test but did not pass the Russo or race test.

There were a couple of named women in “For the Next Millennium,” and while some of the named women played important roles in the episode, they rarely ever talked to each other. In fact, correspondence between named women was so rare in “For the Next Millennium” that named women only actually talked to each other once (e.g., Davina told Hayley that she needs her). However, on that one occasion, men were not mentioned when the named women talked to each other so “For the Next Millennium” passed the Bechdel test. “For the Next Millennium” did not, however, pass either the Russo or race test, and the episode did not pass these tests because there were no LGBTI characters in the episode and because the two times that non-White people talked to each other, White people were mentioned (e.g., Vincent and Marcel talked to each other on two separate occasions about Klaus, dead White people and Davina.

*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.

Advertisements