The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Cheese in the Trap – Season 1, Episode 14

Seol’s notes were stolen on Cheese in the Trap, episode 14, and when she and Jung discovered the identity of the thief (Sang-Cheol), Jung decided to take matters into his own hands and he sought retribution in the worst of ways.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 14 did not pass the Russo test but it did pass the Bechdel and race test.

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Sang-Cheol confronts Jung after his (Jung’s) plan for vengeance succeeds.

Episode 14 did not pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 14. Episode 14 did, however, pass the Bechdel and race test.

There were a couple of named women in episode 14, and because there were a couple of occasions where some of these named women not only talked to each other, but they talked to each other without mentioning men, the episode passed the Bechdel test. Episode 14 passed the race test because while a White person was only mentioned a time or two by non-White individuals, there was nonetheless many instances where non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning someone White as the entire cast was White.

*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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