The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo – Season 1, Episode 8

The palace prepared for a rain ritual on Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, episode 8, and when So was chosen to head the ritual, everyone, including So, had their doubts as to how successful the rain ritual would pan out to be.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 8 did not pass the Russo test but it did pass the Bechdel and race test.

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Queen Yoo torments Hae-Soo in an effort to get information on the Crown Prince.

Episode 8 did not pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 8. Episode 8 did, however, pass the Bechdel and race test.

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Hae-Soo covers up So’s scars with makeup.

There were a few named women in episode 8, and while these women hardly ever talked to each other, the episode nonetheless passed the Bechdel test because there was a single instance where two of these named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Queen Hwangbo thanked Hae-Soo for her tea service).

As to why episode 8 passed the race test, there were many instances where non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning anyone White as the entire cast was Asian and none of the characters ever mentioned White individuals.

*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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