The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Gotham, “New Day Rising” – Season 3, Episode 4

On Gotham, “New Day Rising,” Gordon searched for Jervis; Bruce’s doppelganger made the moves on Selina; and Penguin ran for mayor.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“New Day Rising” did not pass the Bechdel, Russo or race test.

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Selina realizes that Bruce’s doppelganger isn’t who he claims to be.

There were a few named women in “New Day Rising” and there were a single instance where some of these women (Lee and Alice) talked to each other. Nonetheless, “New Day Rising” did not pass the Bechdel test, and the episode did not pass this test because when named women talked to each other, they mentioned a man (e.g., Lee and Alice talked about Alice’s brother).

As to the Russo test, “New Day Rising” also failed to pass this diversity test, and the episode did not pass this test because while there was a LGBTI character, Barbara, in “New Day Rising,” she was solely defined by her sexual orientation (e.g., Barbara was solely defined as Gordon’s ex) and her removal from “New Day Rising” would not have significantly affected the episode’s plot (e.g., Barbara’s removal would have affected the plot because she had nothing to do with the main plotlines and she only briefly appeared in the episode to give non-imperative information to Gordon).

“New Day Rising” failed to pass the race test as well, and the episode did not pass this diversity test because there were no non-White individuals in “New Day Rising.”

*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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