The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The K2 – Season 1, Episode 2

When a man sent by Yoo-Jin threatened Je-Ha and people he cared about on The K2, episode 2, Je-Ha went after Yoo-Jin with a vengeance and he offered her one chance to back off – or else.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 2 passed the race test but it did not pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

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Yoo-Jin moves An-Na, her captive and pawn, to her (Yoo-Jin’s)  home.

In episode 2, the cast was primarily composed of Asian actors and there were numerous instances where the Asian cast talked to each other. Out of the times that Asian individuals talked to each other in episode 2, there were many instances where Asian individuals talked to each other without mentioning White people so the episode easily passed the race test. However, while episode 2 managed to pass this one diversity test, it did not pass others like the Bechdel and Russo.

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When Je-Ha confronts Yoo-Jin, he falls straight into her trap.

There were three named women, An-Na, Yoo-Jin and Ms. Kim, in episode 2 and there were a few instances where some of these women talked to each other. So why didn’t the episode pass the Bechdel test? Because every time any of the named women talked to each other, they mentioned men.

As to why episode 2 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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