The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Awkward., “Home Again, Home Again” – Season 5, Episode 22

On Awkward., “Home Again, Home Again,” Jenna and Luke got into a huge fight over an article she had published about him, and predictably, Jenna ran to Matty for comfort and to vent.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Home Again, Home Again” did not pass the race test but it did pass the Bechdel and Russo test.

awkward-508-s5e22-home-again-home-again
Jenna and Matty run into each other at Camp Pookah.

There were a couple of non-White individuals in “Home Again, Home Again,” but because none of the non-White individuals in the episode ever talked to each other, “Home Again, Home Again” did not pass the race test.

As to the Bechdel test, there were a couple of named women in “Home Again, Home Again” and because there were instances where named women occasionally talked to each other without mentioning men, the episode passed the Bechdel test.

“Home Again, Home Again” also passed the Russo test, and the episode passed this test because a LGBTI character was in “Home Again, Home Again,” Tamara, and she was not solely defined by her sexual orientation (e.g., Tamara was also defined as being a debtor) and her removal from “Home Again, Home Again” would have significantly affected the episode’s plot (e.g., her removal from the episode would have affected the plot because Tamara had her own storyline in “Home Again, Home Again”).

*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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