The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The Master’s Sun – Season 1, Episode 3

A woman who died due to her husband’s infidelity haunted Kong-Sil on The Master’s Sun, episode 3, and even though he wouldn’t admit it, Joong-Won finally started to believe that Kong-Sil truly could communicate with the dead.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 3 did not pass the Russo test but it did pass the Bechdel and race test.

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Kong-Sil flees from a ghost and runs straight into Joong-Won’s arms.

Episode 3 did not pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 3. Episode 3 did, however, pass the Bechdel test.

Episode 3 passed the Bechdel test because of the couple of times that women (named or unnamed) talked to each other, there were two instances where named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Kong-Sil talked to An and inquired about her fall and her health). Episode 3 also passed the race test, and the episode easily passed this test since the entire cast of episode 3 was Asian and none of the characters ever mentioned White people (which means that every conversation that occurred in episode 3 passed the race test).

*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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