The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Descendants of the Sun – Season 1, Episode 10

Drama abounded in the tenth episode of Descendants of the Sun. What happened? Well, Chi-Hoon begged for his patient’s forgiveness; Jin was abducted by Agus; Fatima stole narcotics; Shi-Jin and Mo-Yeon rescued Fatima from Agus’ men; Shi-Jin and his men rescued Jin; Mo-Yeon and Myeong-Joo performed emergency surgery on Jin; and Myeong-Joo contracted a serious virus.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 10 did not pass the Russo test but it did pass the Bechdel and race test.

fullsizephoto705759
Agus is placed in a tight spot; Chi-Hoon begs for forgiveness; and a patient drops a bomb on Shi-Jin and Dae-Young.

Episode 10 did not pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 10. Episode 10 did, however, pass the Bechdel and race test.

Named women (of which there were several in episode 10) talked to each other on many occasions in episode 10, and while men were often mentioned whenever named women talked to each other, the episode nonetheless passed the Bechdel test as there were a few instances where named women talked to each other without mentioning men.

As to the race test, episode 10 passed this diversity test because the cast was primarily non-White and there were many instances where some of the non-White individuals that were in the episode talked to each other without mentioning 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.

Advertisements