The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Madame Antoine – Season 1, Episode 11

Hye-Rim played games with Soo-Hyun on Madame Antoine, episode 11, and she insisted on conducting a secret reverse experiment on him. The results? Mixed. Hye-Rim succeeded at confusing and putting Soo-Hyun on edge, but she did so at the expense of herself as she found that the “experiment” frustrated and upset her just as much as it did Soo-Hyun.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 11 did not pass the Russo test but it did pass the Bechdel and race test.

Madame-Antoine-11.3
Hye-Rim recruits a woman to tempt Soo-Hyun.

Episode 11 did not pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 11. The episode did, however, pass the Bechdel and race test.

There were a couple of occasions where some of the very few named women that were in episode 12 talked to each other, and while men were almost always mentioned whenever named women talked to each other, the episode nonetheless passed the Bechdel test as there was one instance where named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Hye-Rim asked Dr. Bae if she was done with work).

As to the race test, episode 11 easily passed this test because there were many instances where non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning White people as the entire cast was Asian and White people were only mentioned a time or two.

*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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