The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Cheese in the Trap – Season 1, Episode 6

Seol and Jung made up with each other on Cheese in the Trap, episode 6, but just as the two resolved their issues, an old face from Seol’s past reappeared and made her question Jung all over again. Her doubts about Jung, however, did not prevent her from inviting him over to her place and the two spent some much needed bonding time together.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 6 did not pass the Russo test but it did pass the Bechdel and race test.

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Seol dreams of Jung.

Episode 6 did not pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this test because while there was a LGBTI character in episode 6 (i.e., Joo-Yong) and he was not solely defined by his sexual orientation (e.g., he was also defined as being Seol’s neighbor), his removal from the episode would not have significantly affected the plot of the episode as the episode was largely about Seol, her relationship with In-Ho and Jung and the return of her stalker. In regards to the other diversity tests, episode 6 passed both the Bechdel and race test.

Episode 6 passed the Bechdel test because while women didn’t talk to each other many times in episode 6, there were a few moments where named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., there were two instances where Seol talked to named female classmates about schoolwork). 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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