The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Come Back, Mister – Season 1, Episode 5

On Come Back, Mister, episode 5, Gi-Tak began working as Yi-Yeon’s manager, and Young-Soo further investigated his death. The results of their efforts? Yi-Yeon wrangled a major new gig and Young-Soo discovered that Da-Hye may have had an affair with Ji-Hoon.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 5 did not pass the Russo test but it did pass the Bechdel and race test.

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Gi-Tak discovers that Ji-Hoon and Da-Hye met with one another the day after Da-Hye and Young-Soo’s anniversary.

Episode 5 did not pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 5. Episode 5 did, however, pass the Bechdel and race test.

There were a handful of times where the very few named women that were in episode 5 talked to one another, and the episode passed the Bechdel test because out of the very few times that named women talked to one another, there was a single instance where named women conversed without mentioning men (e.g., a named female employee questioned Da-Hye and asked her why she was sitting down).

Episode 5 passed the race test (and easily so) because there were many instances where non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning anyone White as the entire cast was Asian and none of the characters ever mentioned anyone 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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