The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Cheese in the Trap- Season 1, Episode 16

On the last episode of Cheese in the Trap (which left many unsatisfied with its abrupt ending), Seol suffered massive injuries. She, fortunately, survived her injuries, but as a result of her accident, she, Jung, In-Ho and In-Ha were all massively traumatized, and the four all decided to go their separate ways, for better or for worse.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 16 passed the race test but it did not pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

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Jung spies his father speaking with Seol’s parents.

Episode 16 passed the race test, and the episode passed this test because even though White people were mentioned a time or two by non-White individuals, there were countless instances where non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning anyone White as the entire cast was Asian. As to the Bechdel test, episode 16 did not pass this diversity test.

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Seol and Jung walk past each other years later.

There were a few named women in episode 16 and there were a couple of instances where named women even talked to each other, but the episode did not pass the Bechdel test because men where always mentioned whenever named women conversed with one another. Episode 16 also failed to pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this test even though two LGBTI characters did briefly appear in the episode (e.g., Joo-Yong and Yoon-Seob made an extremely brief appearance in the form of a flashback) and they weren’t solely defined by their sexual orientation (e.g., Joo-Yong was defined as a pervert and Yoon-Seob was defined as an assistant), their removal from the episode wouldn’t have significantly affected the episode’s plot as their brief appearance in episode 16 wasn’t pivotal or necessary nor did it impact the overall plot of 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.

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