The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: W- Two Worlds – Season 1, Episode 13

Things were going great on W – Two Worlds, episode 13. W’s storyline was back on track and the comic was progressing just as Sung-Moo had planned – the shooter was arrested and Chul-Ho was out to kill the man. The storyline, however, quickly went straight to hell when the shooter somehow managed to disappear from W and reappear in “reality.”

So what happened? Well, the shooter used his new found ability to not only reestablished control over Sung-Moo but to kidnap Yeon-Joo as well. The result? Yeon-Joo was fatally shot and her heart stopped.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 13 passed the race test but it did not pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

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The shooter tricks Yeon-Joo into believing that he’s her father.

Episode 13 passed the race test, and the episode passed this test because 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. However, while episode 13 managed to pass this one diversity test, it did not pass others like the Bechdel or Russo.

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Chul-Ho erases the recording of his conversation with the shooter.

Episode 13 did not pass the Bechdel test because while there were a couple of named women in the episode, there was never an instance where any of these women actually held a conversation with one another.

As to why episode 13 did not pass the Russo test, there were no LGBTI characters in the episode.

*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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