The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Descendants of the Sun – Season 1, Episode 15

Shi-Jin and Dae-Young “died” in the line of duty on Descendants of the Sun, episode 15, and Mo-Yeon and Myeong-Joo did their best to cope with their new circumstances and to move on.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 15 passed the race test but it did not pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

descendants-of-the-sun-episode-15
Mo-Yeon has an imaginary conversation with dead Shi-Jin.

Episode 15 passed the race test, and the episode easily passed this test because there were many instances where non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning White people as the entire cast was Asian and the characters only mentioned White people a time or two.

As to the Bechdel test, there were a couple of named women in episode 15 and while there were instances where some of these named women talked to each other, the episode did not pass the Bechdel test because men were always mentioned whenever maned women talked to each other. Episode 15 also failed to pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 15.

*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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