Oh My Ghostess is a new K-drama about a young woman named Bong-Sun. Bong-Sun works as a dish washer at a famous restaurant, but she isn’t terribly good at her job as she keeps falling asleep while working. So, why doesn’t she get enough sleep off the job? Well, this is because Bong-Sun sees spirits and they constantly pester her wherever she goes.
Eventually, Bong-Sun makes one too many mistakes and her boss tells her that she needs to seriously consider whether or not she is right for the job. Bong-Sun takes his words to heart and she decides to quit. Right after she quits, Bong-Sun winds up getting possessed by Soon-Ae, a restless virgin spirit who just wants to have sex at least once before she moves on. And through a weird twist of events, Soon-Ae, in the body of Bong-Sun, ends up returning to and working at the restaurant that Bong-Sun just quit.
The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test
Episode 1 of Oh My Ghostess passes the race test but does not pass the Bechdel or Russo test.
The entire cast of episode 1 is Asian, and because none of the characters ever mention White people, every conversation in the episode passes all of the requirements of the race test, so consequently, the episode itself passes the race test with flying colors. However, while the episode passes the race test, it does not pass either the Bechdel or Russo test.
There are several women in episode 1, some of whom are named and some of whom are not, and while women do occasionally talk to each other, there is never an instance where two named women talk to each other so the episode does not pass the Bechdel test. As to why the episode does not pass the Russo test, this is because there are no identifiable 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 by her intersex status
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. 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.