The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: iZombie, “Even Cowgirls Get the Black and Blues” – Season 2, Episode 4

Liv investigated the murder of a waitress who had dreamed of becoming a country star on iZombie, “Even Cowgirls Get the Black and Blues,” and as she did so, she simultaneously grew apart from Major and became reacquainted with Peyton.

 The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Even Cowgirls Get the Black and Blues” did not pass the Bechdel, Russo or race test.

Liv spends some girl time with Peyton.

“Even Cowgirls Get the Black and Blues” failed to pass all of the diversity tests, and the episode did not pass these tests because while there were named women in the episode who occasionally talked to each other, they always mentioned men; because there were no LGBTI characters in the episode; and because while there were a couple of non-White individuals in the episode who sometimes spoke to each other, they always mentioned White people.

*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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