The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Lucky Romance – Season 1, Episode 1

In the first episode of Lucky Romance, Bo-Nui was having some really bad luck. She was working odd jobs trying to find her former employer who had stolen money from her; she accidently ran into a customer and hurt herself; her bills were way past due; she was accused of being a corporate spy; she was nearly kicked out of her apartment; and worse of all, her brain dead sister experienced cardiac arrest.

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Bo-Nui ends her last shift at a casino.

Bo-Nui was devastated when her sister went into cardiac arrest.  This had happened once before, and thanks to advice from a fortune teller, Bo-Nui had managed to save her sister. So what did Bo-Nui do this time? She went back to the same fortune teller who had helped her before, and when he told her that she must sleep with a man who was born in the year of the tiger in order to save her sister, Bo-Nui ignored how ridiculous the fortune teller’s advice was and she set out to do just that.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 1 did not pass the Russo test but it did pass the Bechdel and race test.

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Soo-Ho, a tech genius who was born in the year of the tiger, sits down at a poker game right before he holds a big press conference.

Episode 1 did not pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 1. Episode 1 did, however, pass the Bechdel and race test.

There weren’t very women in the first episode of Lucky Romance, but because there were some named women in the episode and there were a couple of instances where some of these named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Bo-Nui and Dal-Nim talked to each other on a couple of occasions about work and money), the episode passed the Bechdel test.

As to the race test, episode 1 passed this diversity 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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