The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Cinderella and Four Knights – Season 1, Episode 1

On the first episode of Cinderella and Four Knights, Ha-Won was struggling to make enough money for college tuition when she suddenly discovered that her dead mother’s urn had been placed in storage by a memorial site. Ha-Won, understandably, was upset that her mom was in storage so she decided to use her college money to get her mom out (thus forfeiting any hopes of becoming a college student). The only problem? She was short by a thousand dollars.

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Ha-Won not dealing with any bullshit from her customers.

Ha-Won attempted to earn the extra thousand that she needed, and as a result, all kinds of chaos ensued. Case in point, when Ha-Won encountered a strange rich kid who offered her $1000 for three hours of her time, Ha-Won wound up crashing a wedding, being introduced as a fiancée and being repeatedly insulted by strangers. It’s only a wonder what shall happen in the next episode. Till then…

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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A random rich kid approaches Ha-Won with an odd job.

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.

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A young man accidentally peeps on Ha-Won as she is changing for an event.

There were a couple of named women in episode 1 and because there were two instances in the episode where two named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., on two separate occasions, Ha-Won talked to her step-sister about clothes and college), the episode passed the Bechdel test.

As to how 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 anyone White.

*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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