The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Faking It, “Spooking It” – Season 3, Episode 6

Amy and Karma attended the Hester Halloween party on Faking It, “Spooking It,” with the intent to move on from their exes and make out with strangers but this proved to be easier said than done.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

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

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Karma catches Liam mid-change during the Halloween party.

There were a couple of instances in “Spooking It” where named women (of which there were several in the episode) talked to each other, but the episode did not pass the Bechdel test and “Spooking It” did not pass this test because whenever named women talked to each other, they mentioned men.

As to the Russo test, there were four LGBTI characters in “Spooking It,” Amy, Lauren, Shane and Sabrina (?), and because these characters (Amy, Lauren and Shane) were not solely defined as being LGBTI (e.g., Amy and Shane were also defined as being friends, Lauren was defined as being a home owner and Sabrina was defined as being a student) and their removals from “Spooking It” would have significantly affected the episode’s plot as “Spooking It” was an ensemble episode and Amy, Lauren and Shane were all part of the main ensemble and Sabrina played a part in the plot.

“Spooking It” also passed the race test, and the episode passed this test because there was one instance where non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning White people (e.g., two non-White students at the party talked to each other in passing without ever mentioning White people).

*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.