The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Beautiful Mind – Season 1, Episode 14

Cut short by two episodes due to the Olympics, Beautiful Mind closed last night with episode 14. So what happened? Young-O secretly (and illegally) donated his lung to Jin-Sung; Young-O and Suk-Joo were criticized for their unethical operation; Gun-Myung stood up for his son and fessed up to his abusive actions; and Soon-Ho faced legal action. So the show sort of tied up all of its lose ends but it could have done better if it had been allotted more time to do so.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 14 passed the race test but it did not pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

Episode 14 passed the race test, and the episode passed this test because there were numerous 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 anyone White. However, while episode 14 passed the race test, the episode did not pass any other diversity test.

Episode 14 did not pass the Bechdel test because while there were indeed named women in the episode and there were even instances where some of these women talked to each other, men were always mentioned whenever any of these named women talked to each other. The episode did not pass the Russo test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 14.

*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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