The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Awkward., “Fireworks” – Season 5, Episode 17

On the newest episode of Awkward., “Fireworks,” Jenna and Tamara picked up some shifts at the country club on the fourth of the July and two experienced some drama whilst there.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Fireworks” did not pass the race test but it did pass the Bechdel and Russo test.

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Sadie works a shift for Sergio.

There were a few non-White individuals in “Fireworks” but the episode did not pass the race test, and the episode did not pass this test because none of the non-White individuals in the episode ever talked to each other.

As to the Bechdel test, there were a couple of instances where the few named women that were in “Fireworks” talked to each other, and because out of those occasions there were a couple of instances where named women talked to each other without mentioning men, the episode passed the Bechdel test.

“Fireworks” also passed the Russo test, and the episode passed this test because there was one LGBTI character in “Fireworks,” Tamara, and she was not solely defined by her sexual orientation (e.g., she was also defined as being a friend) and her removal from “Fireworks” would have significantly affected the episode’s plot as part of the episode revolved around her.

*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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