The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Jealousy Incarnate – Season 1, Episode 1

On the first episode of Jealousy Incarnate, Na-Ri, a struggling weather woman and a wannabe anchor, was sent on assignment to Bangkok. Once there, Na-Ri had to work with an old crush of hers (who was incredibly cocky), and she, in typical K-drama fashion, made their reunion super weird and awkward. How did Na-Ri accomplish such a feat? By groping the man – multiple times.

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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Na-Ri runs into her old crush Hwa-Shin at the airport.

The cast of episode 1 was almost completely Asian and none of the characters ever mentioned anyone White. Because of this, there were many occasions where non-White individuals talked to each other without ever mentioning White individuals so the episode easily passed the race test. However, while episode 1 easily passed the race test, it did not manage to pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

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Na-Ri feels up Hwa-Shin.

In the first episode of Jealousy Incarnate, there were a couple of named women and there were a few instances where some of these women talked to each other but because men were always mentioned whenever any of the named women talked to each other, the episode did not pass the Bechdel test.

As to why episode 1 did not pass the Russo test, there were no LGBTI characters in the episode thus making it impossible for the episode to pass the Russo.

*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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