The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Cheese in the Trap – Season 1, Episode 12

The full story behind Jung and In-Ho’s broken friendship was finally revealed on Cheese in the Trap, episode 12.

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Seol asks Jung to honestly express his feelings to her, and her request forces some of Jung’s old memories to the surface. 

When Jung, In-Ho and In-Ha were in high school, Jung’s father, Young-Soo, one day announced that he wanted to adopt both In-Ho and In-Ha. Jung, In-Ho and In-Ha were all equally shocked by Young-Soo’s sudden announcement, and while Jung wasn’t necessarily thrilled by this new development, he wasn’t completely opposed to it either. However, when he later learned that his father wanted to adopt In-Ho and In-Ha because he wanted them to watch over Jung and report in on him to Young-Soo, Jung felt betrayed and he began to distance himself from In-Ho.

Shortly after Jung distanced himself from In-Ho, In-Ho was severely injured by his classmates, and due to some events that had occurred prior to In-Ho’s beating, In-Ho believed that Jung had orchestrated the entire incident. In-Ho said as much to Jung and when Jung failed to refute In-Ho’s claims, In-Ho severed all ties with Jung and he forever left the Yoo household.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 12 passed the race test, but it did not pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

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Jung recalls exactly how his friendship with In-Ho ended.

The entire cast of episode 12 was Asian, and while White people were mentioned a time or two, the episode, nonetheless, passed the race test as there were many instances where non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning White people. The episode did not, however, pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

Named women talked to each other a couple of times in episode 12, but because men were always referenced whenever named women talked to each other, the episode did not pass the Bechdel test. The episode did not pass the Russo test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 12.

*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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