The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The Master’s Sun – Season 1, Episode 2

On the second episode of The Master’s Sun, Kong-Sil began working at Kingdom as a cleaning lady, and while working at the mall, she got caught up in a ghost situation involving school girls.

Also on episode 2, Kong-Sil learned of Hee-Joo, Joong-Won’s first love who was murdered when he was a teenager.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 2 did not pass the Russo test but it did pass the Bechdel and race test.

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A group of school girls reconcile with their dead classmate.

Episode 2 did not pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in the episode. The episode did, however, pass the Bechdel test.

Episode 2 passed the Bechdel test because there were a couple of occasions where named women and girls talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Kong-Ri expressed her surprise when she saw Kong-Sil at Kingdom and named school girls talked to each other on several occasions about themselves and about their dead female classmate). Episode 2 also passed the race test, and the episode (and every conversation that occurred in the episode) passed this test because the entire cast of episode 2 was Asian and White people were never mentioned by any of the characters.

*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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