The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Faking It, “Game On” – Season 3, Episode 7

An old friend, Sabrina, reappeared on the newest episode of Faking It, “Game On,” and while Amy was pleased to see her, Karma wasn’t. The reason? Because Karma was convinced that Sabrina was trying to drive a wedge between Karma and Amy.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

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

Years ago when Amy first met Sabrina.

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

As to the Bechdel test, named women (of which there were several in “Game On”) talked to each other several times in “Game On,” and because on some of those occasions men were not mentioned, the episode passed the Bechdel test.

“Game On” also passed the Russo test, and the episode easily passed this test because there were four LGBTI characters in the episode, Amy, Lauren, Shane and Noah, and none of these characters were solely defined as being LGBTI (e.g., Amy was also defined as being a friend; Lauren was defined as being a control freak; and Shane and Noah were defined as being musicians) and their removals from “Game On” would have significantly affected the episode’s plot as “Game On” was an ensemble episode and Amy, Lauren, Shane and Noah were all part of the ensemble.

*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.