The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Uncontrollably Fond – Season 1, Episode 16

Eul learned of Joon-Young’s terminal cancer on Uncontrollably Fond, episode 16. Her first course of action upon her new discovery? Well, she tried to convince Joon-Young to undertake treatment but when that didn’t work out, she stuck to his side like a barnacle and confessed her love to him.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 16 passed the race test but it did not pass the Bechdel or Russo.

The entire cast of episode 16 was Asian and because none of the characters ever mentioned anyone White, there were many instances where non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning White individuals. Episode 16 thus easily passed the race test.

As to the Bechdel test, there were a couple of named women in episode 16 and while there were a few instances where some of these women talked to each other, the episode ultimately failed to pass the Bechdel because whenever any of the named women in the episode talked to each other, they mentioned men. Episode 16 also failed to pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this diversity test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 16.

*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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