The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The Master’s Sun – Season 1, Episode 13

Kong-Sil made a deal with the ghost matchmaker on The Master’s Sun, episode 13, and while the deal saved Joong-Won’s life, it came with a costly price – Joong-Won’s memories of Kong-Sil.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 13 did not pass the Russo test but it did pass the Bechdel and race test.

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Joong-Won spies Kong-Sil.

Episode 13 did not pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in the episode. Episode 13 did, however, pass the Bechdel and race test.

Episode 13 passed the Bechdel test because of the couple of times that named women talked to each other in episode 13, there was one instance where men weren’t mentioned (e.g., Hanna asked Kong-Sil a question about her sunburst necklace). The episode passed the race test because every conversation that occurred in the episode occurred between non-White individuals (the entire cast was Asian) and because 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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