The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Jealousy Incarnate – Season 1, Episode 15

On Jealousy Incarnate, episode 15, Na-Ri realized that she was in love with both Hwa-Shin and Jung-Won. She thus decided that the best outcome for everyone was if she broke up with Jung-Won and dated no one. Hwa-Shin and Jung-Won, to say the least, weren’t exactly pleased by this new development.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 15 did not pass the Russo test but it did pass the Bechdel and race test.

hwa-shin-confronts-na-ri
Hwa-Shin confronts Na-Ri and he demands to know who she likes more – him or Jung-Won.

Episode 15 did not pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 15. The episode did, however, pass the Bechdel and race test.

na-ri-with-blind-date
Na-Ri goes on a blind date.

There were a few named women in episode 15, 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 named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Ja-Young gave Na-Ri work advice).

As to why episode 15 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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