The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: W – Two Worlds – Season 1, Episode 1

On the very first episode of W – Two Worlds, Yeon-Joo, a resident and the daughter of a famous webtoonist, “fell” into her father’s latest webtoon and she inadvertently saved a character that he was trying to kill off. How did she accomplish this? No one knows, and while Yeon-Joo is aware that what she has done sounds crazy, she has no doubt that every bit of it is true.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

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

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Yeon-Joo enters her father’s webtoon and saves Jong-Suk, a character that her father is trying to kill.

Episode 1 passed the race test, and the episode passed this test because there were several 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. In regards to the Bechdel and Russo test, episode 1 did not pass either of these diversity tests.

Episode 1 did not pass the Bechdel test because while there were indeed some named women in the episode, they never talked to each other. The episode did not pass the Russo test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 1.

*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.