The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Awkward., “Misadventures in Babysitting” – Season 5, Episode 20

On the newest episode of Awkward., “Misadventures in Babysitting,” Tamara met Patrick’s girlfriends and Jenna babysat her sister for the very first time.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Misadventures in Babysitting” did not pass the race test but it did pass the Bechdel and Russo test.

A couple of non-White individuals were in “Misadventures in Babysitting,” but the episode did not pass the race test and “Misadventures in Babysitting” did not pass this diversity test because none of the non-White individuals in the episode ever talked to each other let alone talked to each other without mentioning White people.

As to the Bechdel test, there were several instances where some of the many named women that were in “Misadventures in Babysitting” talked to each other without mentioning men so the episode passed the Bechdel test. “Misadventures in Babysitting” also passed the Russo test, and the episode passed this test because there was one LGBTI character in “Misadventures in Babysitting,” Tamara, and she was not solely defined by her sexual orientation (e.g., Tamara was also defined by her SES) and her removal from “Misadventures in Babysitting” would have significantly affected the episode’s plot (e.g., Tamara’s removal from the episode would have affected the plot because a good sized chunk 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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