The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: iZombie, “Dead Beat” and “Salivation Army” – Season 2, Episode 18 and 19

iZombie -- Image Number: ZMB219a_0001.jpg -- "Salivation Army" -- Pictured (L-R): Rose McIver as Liv, Malcolm Goodwin as Clive and Robert Buckley as Major -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

On the two hour finale of iZombie, “Dead Beat” and “Salivation Army,” Clive learned of the existence of zombies; Major was sprung out of jail after facing several charges; Peyton was kidnapped; and Liv, Major and Clive rescued zombies that had been held captive by Vaughn.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Dead Beat” and “Salivation Army” did not pass the Bechdel, Russo or race test.

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Mr. Boss takes Peyton captive.

There were a couple of named women in “Dead Beat” and “Salivation Army” and there were instances where some of these named women talked to each other, but because men were always mentioned whenever any of these named women talked to each other, the episode did not pass the Bechdel test. “Dead Beat” and “Salivation Army” also failed to pass the Russo and race test.

“Dead Beat” and “Salivation Army” did not pass the Russo test because there were no LGBTI characters in the episode. “Dead Beat” and “Salivation Army” did not pass the race test because while there were non-White individuals in the episode and there were some instances where two or more non-White individual talked to each other, White people were always mentioned whenever non-White individuals talked to each other.

*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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