The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Awkward., “Digging Deep” – Season 5, Episode 18

Jenna was determined to “dig deep” and write up a good article for Idea Bin on Awkward., “Digging Deep,” and when she wasn’t busy with that, she and the rest of her friends planned a surprise party for Jake.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

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

There were a few non-White individuals in “Digging Deep,” but the episode did not pass the race test and “Digging Deep” did not pass this test because there was never an instance where two or more non-White individuals actually talked to each other.

As to the Bechdel test, “Digging Deep” did pass this diversity test, and the episode passed this test because there was one instance where named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., there was one instance where Jenna and Tamara briefly talked to each other without mentioning men at Jake’s party). “Digging Deep” also passed the Russo test, and the episode passed this test because there was one LGBTI character in “Digging Deep,” Tamara, and she was not solely defined by her sexual orientation (e.g., she was also defined as being a friend) and because her removal from “Digging Deep” would have significantly affected the episode’s plot as she had her own storyline in “Digging Deep” (e.g., her love connection with and deception of Patrick).

*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