The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: iZombie, “The Hurt Stalker” – Season 2, Episode 8

A wedding planner whom Clive had dated was murdered on iZombie, “The Hurt Stalker,” and because the murder victim had been stalking Clive before she had died, he became the police’s lead suspect. In order to clear Clive of any and all suspicion, Liv and Ravi investigated into the case themselves and this resulted in Liv serving time in jail.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“The Hurt Stalker” did not pass the Bechdel, Russo or race test.

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Major continues to train Vaughn, and while training him, Major learns of a new product that Vaughn has just released.

“The Hurt Stalker” did not pass the Bechdel test, and the episode did not pass this test because while there were a couple of instances where named women talked to each other, men were always mentioned. The episode also did not pass the Russo or race test.

“The Hurt Stalker” did not pass the Russo test because there were no LGBTI characters in the episode, and the episode did not pass the race test because while there were a couple of non-White individuals in “The Hurt Stalker” who occasionally spoke to each other, White people were always mentioned.

*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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