The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Vampire Detective -Season 1, Episode 9

On Vampire Detective, episode 9, San and co. were hired by a father to investigate his son’s murder. Why had San and co. been contacted for this particular case instead of the police? Because the man’s son had been a food broadcaster and he had died during a broadcast trying to complete an impossible task that a viewer had set before him in exchange for a large sum of money.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 9 did not pass the Russo test but it did pass the Bechdel and race test.

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San and co. observe live broadcasts in the hopes that they will catch the viewer who killed their client’s son.

Episode 9 did not pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this diversity test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 9. The episode did, however, pass the Bechdel and race test.

Episode 9 passed the Bechdel test because there were a couple of named women in episode 9 and there was a single instance where some of these named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., two named female broadcasters talked to each other about work).

The episode passed the race test (and easily so) because there were many instances where non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning White people as the entire cast was Asian and none of the characters ever mentioned 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.

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