The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Faking It, “Untitled” – Season 3, Episode 8

A fight over labels came to the forefront on Faking It, “Untitled” due to Lauren’s machinations, and Amy found herself falling for a friend, once again.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

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

There were a couple of non-White individuals in “Untitled,”  but the episode, nonetheless, did not pass the race test and “Untitled” did not pass this test because non-White individuals never talked to each other.

As to the Bechdel test, named women (of which there were several in “Untitled”) talked to each other on numerous occasions in “Untitled” and because there were instances where named women talked to each other without mentioning men, the episode passed the Bechdel test.

“Untitled” also passed the Russo test, and the episode easily passed this test because there were several LGBTI characters in “Untitled” (e.g., Lauren, Amy, Shane and Noah) that were not solely defined as being LGBTI (e.g., Lauren, Amy, Shane and Noah were also defined as being students) and whose removals from “Untitled” would have significantly affected the episode’s plot (e.g., Amy, Lauren, Shane and Noah’s removal from the episode would have significantly affected the plot as the episode revolved around them and their relationships to one another).

*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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