The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Come Back, Mister – Season 1, Episode 4

On Come Back, Mister, episode 4, Young-Soo was determined to reveal the true reason behind his death and Gi-Tak questioned whether or not he should remain in the living world.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 4 did not pass the Russo test but it did pass the Bechdel and race test.

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Young-Soo questions the reasons behind his death at a board meeting.

Episode 4 did not pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in the episode. Episode 4 did, however, pass the Bechdel and race test.

Named women (of which there were a few in episode 4) talked to each other a couple of times in episode 4, and while men were almost always mentioned, the episode passed the Bechdel test because there was one instance where named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Da-Hye asked Han-Na why she wasn’t at school). Episode 4 passed the race test because non-White individuals talked to each other several times without ever mentioning anyone White as the entire cast was Asian and none of the characters ever mentioned White people.

*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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