The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Scream Queens, “Scream Again” – Season 2, Episode 1

In the first episode of season 2 of Scream Queens, “Scream Again,” it was revealed that Munsch had reinvented herself. Her new pursuit in life? To cure the incurable.

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Zayday meets one of C.U.R.E.’s doctors, Cassidy Cascade.

Munsch opened a hospital called C.U.R.E. in “Scream Again” and her first order of business was to hire staff. So she, for whatever reason, decided to reach out to Zayday, who had magically become a medical student in-between seasons, and the Chanels and employ the four. What could possibly go wrong, right?

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Scream Again” did not pass the race test but it did pass the Bechdel and Russo test.

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Dr. Holt gives Zayday and Dr. Cascade the full scoop behind the scar on his wrist.

There were a couple of non-White individuals in “Scream Again.” Despite this, however, the episode did not pass the race test, and “Scream Again” did not pass this diversity test because none of the non-White individuals who were in the episode ever talked to each other.

As to how “Scream Again” fares when it comes to other diversity tests like the Bechdel, there were many named women in the episode and there were many instances where some of these women talked to each other. Out of the times that named women talked to each other, there were several instances where men were not mentioned so the episode thus met all of the Bechdel’s requirements and passed this particular diversity test.

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The Chanels learn that they will be earn a doctor’s salary.

“Scream Again” also passed the Russo test, and the episode passed this test because 1) there was a single LGBTI character in the episode, Chanel #3 2) Chanel #3 was not solely defined by her sexual orientation (e.g., she was mostly defined as being a medical student) and 3)“Scream Again” was an ensemble episode and Chanel #3 was part of the main ensemble so if she had been removed from “Scream Again,” the episode’s plot would have been significantly affected.

*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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