The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Doctor Crush – Season 1, Episode 1

In the first episode of Doctors, Hye-Jung was just having a generally shitty time. She was kicked out of her school; her father abandoned her; she kept getting into fights with other girls; a teacher caught her stealing; her grandmother was disappointed in her (Hye-Jung); and by the end of the episode, matters fared no better for Hye-Jung. There was, however, one silver lining in episode 1 – in the future, Hye-Jung became a doctor. So the question is, how exactly did she transform from a delinquent to a doctor?

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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Hye-Jung once she has become a doctor.

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. The episode did, however, pass the Bechdel and race test.

There were many women in episode 1, and because some of these women had names and they occasionally talked to each other without mentioning men, the episode passed the Bechdel test.

As to why episode 1 passed the race test, 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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