The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Come Back, Mister – Season 1, Episode 12

On Come Back, Mister, episode 12, Gi-Tak discovered that Da-Hye was his long-lost sister; Suk-Chul made trouble for Yi-Yeon and Jae-Kook was not pleased with his actions; Yi-Yeon signed a modeling contract with Young-Soo; and Ha-Na suddenly disappeared.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 12 passed the race test but it did not pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

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Young-Soo and Ji-Hoon compete for Ha-Na and No-Gab’s affections and the two engage in a dance-off.

Episode 12 passed the race test, and easily so, because the entire cast was Asian and none of the characters ever mentioned White people so there were numerous occasions where non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning White people. Episode 12 did not, however, pass either the Bechdel or Russo test.

There were a few named women in episode 12 and there were a couple of instances where some of these named women talked to each other, but the episode did not pass the Bechdel test because whenever named women talked to each other, men were mentioned.

Episode 12 did not pass the Russo test because there were no LGBTI characters in 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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