The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The Master’s Sun – Season 1, Episode 16

Joong-Won managed to trick Kong-Sil off of her flight on The Master’s Sun, episode 16, and he convinced her to go out on a single date with him. However, before they could even finish one date, Kong-Sil felt the need to aid a ghost, and the day ended with Joong-Won and Kong-Sil agreeing to part with one another.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 16 did not pass the Russo test but it did pass the Bechdel and race test.

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Kong-Sil searches for Woo-Jin’s mom.

Episode 16 did not pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 16. The episode did, however, pass the Bechdel test.

Named women talked to each other a couple of times in episode 16, and while men were almost always mentioned whenever named women talked to each other, there was one instance where named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Yi-Ryung informed Kong-Sil that she had a severe stomach pain) so the episode passed the Bechdel test. Episode 16 also passed the race test,  and the episode passed this test because the entire cast 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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