The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The Master’s Sun – Season 1, Episode 8

On The Master’s Sun, episode 8, Joong-Won learned that there was a water ghost in one of his hotels’ pools, attacking guests. He, of course, wanted Kong-Sil to get rid of the ghost, but knowing how afraid she was of water ghosts, he tricked her in to going to his haunted hotel instead of telling her the truth.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 8 did not pass the Russo test but it did pass the Bechdel and race test.

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Kong-Sil’s fun, wild and ghost-filled day at a Kingdom hotel.

Episode 8 did not pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 8. The episode did, however, pass the Bechdel and race test.

While women rarely talked to each other in episode 8, the episode passed the Bechdel test because there was one instance where woman who had names talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Jin-Joo asked Kong-Ri if she was going somewhere). The episode passed the race test because the entire cast was Asian and none of the characters ever 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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