The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Madame Antoine – Season 1, Episode 9

Hye-Rim and Soo-Hyun grew ever closer to one another on Madame Antoine, episode 9, and the two were sickeningly sweet and happy with one another. However, like all good things, their (or at least Hye-Rim’s) happiness eventually came to an end. The reason their happiness ended? Hye-Rim discovered undeniable proof that Soo-Hyun was using her as a subject in his Madame Antoine study.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 9 passed the race test but it did not pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

photo691379
Soo-Hyun and Hye-Rim have all kinds of lovey-dovey fun with one another. That is, until Hye-Rim discovers the truth.

Episode 9 passed the race test, and the episode passed this test because while White people were mentioned a time or two, the entire cast was Asian so only non-White individuals ever talked to one another, and because White people were only mentioned a time or two, most of these conversations were completely White person free. As to the Bechdel and Russo test, episode 9 did not pass either of these diversity tests.

There were a couple of named women in episode 9 and there was an instance or two where named women talked to each other, but because men were always referenced whenever named women talked to one another, the episode did not pass the Bechdel test.

In respect to the Russo test, episode 9 did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in the episode.

*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.

Advertisements