Saturday, April 18, 2015

Bechdel April: Week 3

The Bechdel Test asks that media contain at least two female characters who talk to one another about something other than a man. I'm tracking my television consumption throughout April to see how often the shows I love (and/or watch) meet this seemingly simple criteria, and I'm doing it publicly because I figure it's of potential interest to y'all as well as to me.

I'm also trying not to use the project as an excuse to watch lots and lots of TV, but I fear I'm failing. In my defense, I use TV as drug-free pain relief and I really, really needed it last week.

Last Week's Shows

DAREDEVIL is a superhero drama about a New York lawyer who uses his superpowers to take down criminals in Hell's Kitchen.

GAME OF THRONES is a fantasy drama in which a number of warring factions fight to seize control over their continent.

CORONATION STREET is a contemporary soap opera set in a fictional Manchester suburb populated by working class people whose lives are packed with drama. I watch it on the Canadian schedule, which is about two weeks behind the UK schedule.

THE FLASH is a superhero drama about a forensic scientist who gains the ability to run really fast.

NASHVILLE is a contemporary drama in which an assortment of musicians at every stage in their careers struggle to stay on top of the charts, or at least to keep afloat in the cutthroat music business. It’s my favourite.

The Results

As always, here's breakdown of how each individual episode does. Each bullet point equals one scene, so a quick glance should help even the spoiler-leery among you gauge how often these shows pass the Bechdel Test.

Daredevil, S1E3; "Rabbit In A Snowstorm"

  • Karen tells Mrs Fisher about the nondisclosure agreement she's been presented with. She asks if Mrs Fisher received a similar offer. Mrs Fisher tells her yes, she did, and she signed it straight off. She advises Karen to do the same, but Karen doesn't feel right about it and says so.

Daredevil, S1E4; "In the Blood"

  • FAIL

Daredevil, S1E5; "World On Fire"

  • Karen translates for Elena as Elena explains the illegal construction situation that has made life so difficult for herself and her neighbors. Some of their interactions involve direct communication between the two women, while at other times Karen simply acts as a mouthpiece as Elena speaks to Matt and Foggy. It's a mixed bag on the Bechdel front.
  • Karen defends Elena and her case to Marcy, who believes Elena and her neighbors are just a bunch of drug dealing thugs.
  • Karen asks Elena how she managed to cook with the gas cut off. Elena explains that one of her downstairs neighbors still has gas and everyone has banded together to help each other out while they're waiting for someone to finish the construction on their apartments.

Daredevil, S1E6, "Condemned"

  • Claire asks Elena what injuries she has sustained and takes steps to treat them.
  • The hospital administrator comments on Claire's recent absence and welcomes her back to work.

Game of Thrones, S5E1, "The Wars To Come"

  • Cersei and her friend argue over whether they should enter Maggy's hut. Cersei wins, of course. Once they're in, Maggy orders them out. Cersei's having none of it. She goads Maggy with what everyone says about her and demands Maggy reveal her future. If Maggy refuses, Cersei will have her blinded. Maggy relents. She drinks a drop of Cersei's blood and predicts Cersei will become Queen and remain so until someone younger and more beautiful comes to cast her down and take everything she holds dear.

Daredevil, S1E7, "Stick"

  • Karen asks Elena how her recovery is going. Elena insists she pay for the groceries Karen brought her, but Karen says she'd rather receive information than money. Elena agrees.

Daredevil, S1E8, "Shadows in the Glass"

  • FAIL

Coronation Street, April 13th (Canadian schedule)

  • Sophie assures Anna the ambulance is on its way. She promises to stay with Anna and Faye until it gets there, and to help as much as she can. Faye is terrified Anna will un-adopt her because she got pregnant. Anna assures her she would never do that.
  • Anna asks Faye how she's feeling. Faye says it's like she's dying. Off in the background, Sally tells Sophie she doesn't like the look of this. She's concerned she and Sophie will have to step in and deliver the baby. Sophie, ever-practical, is less than thrilled with this idea. Sally steps back into the main fray to coach Faye on her breathing. Anna does the same. The EMTs arrive, introduce themselves as Philippa and Susan, and take charge of the situation, much to everyone's relief.
  • Anna tells the EMTs she'll accompany Faye in the ambulance. Sally praises Sophie for her role in the whole endeavor.
  • Anna assures Faye the baby is very cute. She urges Faye to hold her new daughter, but Faye refuses.

Daredevil, S1E9; "Speak of the Devil"

  • FAIL

Daredevil, S1E10; "Nelson vs Murdock"

  • Mrs Vistain asks Karen if she's brought "it." Karen tells her no, she doesn't work at the nursing home and they've never met before. She wonders if Mrs Vistain could tell them how she likes living there. Mrs Vistain says she's very comfortable.

Daredevil, S1E11; "The Path of the Righteous"

  • FAIL

Daredevil, S1E12; "The Ones We Leave Behind"

  • FAIL

Daredevil, S1E13; "Daredevil"

  • FAIL

The Flash, S1E18; "All Star Team Up"

  • A student says goodnight to Dr. Kang, who returns the wish.
  • Felicity and Iris greet and compliment one another.
  • Dr McGee tells Brie she had to terminate her contract because Brie's work was immoral. Brie retorts that she has to kill Dr McGee because her work is important.

Coronation Street, April 14th (Canadian schedule)

  • Anna updates Faye on the baby. She tells Faye it's important that Faye get used to the idea of being a mum.
  • Bethany disrupts Sarah's attempt to work long distance. Audrey asks Bethany to come and help her do inventory in the salon so she'll be out of Sarah's hair.
  • Liz teases Eileen about her enormous Easter egg. Eileen retorts that it was half price, so it would've been wrong not to buy it.
  • Mary talks up her midwifing skills to Sophie. Sophie tells Mary how scared Faye was during the whole thing.
  • Anna tells Faye she'll soon need to feed the baby. She asks why Faye didn't tell her about her condition. Faye says she didn't know at first. Before Anna can question her any further, the police arrive. Anna asks Faye to please cooperate with them because this is a necessary step.
  • DC Davies introduces herself and DC Davenport. She assures Faye she isn't in any trouble. They just want to ask Faye some questions because she's so young.
  • Maria and Audrey gossip about Faye while Bethany listens in. Bethany asks them to tell her some horror stories about haircuts gone wrong. They oblige. Bethany decides it all sounds wonderful. She declares she'd love to work in the salon. Audrey tells her Sarah worked there when she was younger. She wishes Bethany were staying in Weatherfield so she could do the same.

Coronation Street, April 15th (Canadian schedule)

  • Faye asks what's going on. Anna orders her to take the baby and go inside.
  • Bethany critiques Sarah's mascara use. Sarah says she's going for a smokey eye, but Bethany feels it looks more like a black eye than a smokey one.
  • Sophie and Anna discuss the baby. Anna asks Sophie to stay with Faye for a little while and try to get her to open up. Sophie agrees.
  • Sophie and Faye talk. They're both having trouble getting their mind around Faye as a mother, but Sophie insists Faye shouldn't be embarrassed about having a baby.
  • Anna thanks Sophie for talking to Faye. Sophie offers to come see Faye again, if that's all right with Faye. Faye says she'd like that.
  • Anna tells Faye how much she wishes she'd known Faye when Faye was a baby, but it makes absolutely no difference to how much she loves her. She promises to stick by Faye no matter what, and she assures Faye things will get better.

Nashville, S1E18; "Nobody Knows But Me"

  • Rayna tries to talk to Maddie, but Maddie cuts her off and asks for a ride to her early-morning study group.
  • Rayna sees Daphne off on her camping trip and tries to talk to Maddie again. She suggests they could go to the Jude St. John concert, but Maddie tells her she can't because she already has plans with friends.
  • Rayna tells Maddie she's concerned about how much Maddie has been lying lately. She wants the two of them to talk more. Maddie disagrees.
  • Rayna congratulates Layla on becoming Jude's opening act, but reiterates that they need to have a dialogue about these sorts of things if their business relationship is going to work out.
  • Maddie apologizes to Rayna for everything that's been going on between them lately.
  • Maddie thanks Rayna for letting her come along to the concert after all. The two of them fully make up.
  • The FBI agent orders Natasha to take her wire off. Natasha repeats her request for immunity from prosecution.
  • Daphne fills Rayna and Maddie in on her camping trip.

Coronation Street, April 17th (Canadian schedule)

  • Sophie tells Sally how Faye is doing, emotionally speaking. Sally says Faye is lucky to have Sophie's support while she goes through all this.
  • Izzy gives Alya the samples Alya requested. Alya asks Carla if they can go over them together, along with her plans for a new website for the factory designed to let customers purchase from them directly. Sally snarks about how Alya ought to focus on her everyday work instead of trying fancy new things; Alya retorts that coming up with new ideas is a big part of her job. Sally fires back that the dot com bubble has burst; Alya counters with university-approved facts about the importance of online marketing. Carla agrees to sit down with Alya and look through it all, with Sally well out of the room. She compliments Alya on the website designs.
  • Anna tries to see Faye and the baby off before the Hodges arrive, but they come early. Faye insists she can't face them.
  • Anna tells Mrs Hodge about the baby.
  • Mrs Hodge tries to slut-shame Faye. Anna shoots that crap down, but Mrs Hodge keeps at it no matter how hard Anna fights back. Mrs Hodge insists Faye should be ashamed to have had a baby so young, and Anna should be ashamed she didn't notice Faye's pregnancy immediately.
  • Alya and Sally snark at one another about their individual work ethics.
  • Michelle and Liz discuss Michelle's hopes for the wedding.

Coronation Street, April 18th (Canadian schedule)

  • Liz is excited to see what Michelle does with the wedding, seeing as how Michelle is such a talented wedding planner.
  • Faye asks Anna what sort of questions the social worker will have for her. Anna says it'll be fairly basic stuff. She encourages Faye to feed the baby and get her ready, though Faye is reluctant to do so.
  • Bethany complains to Audrey about everyone else packed into the house. Audrey is mostly concerned with how Bethany insists on calling her by her first name. She asks Bethany if she can get some more help with ANNA KARENINA. Bethany says she's not up to it, but Audrey should definitely look into a study guide.
  • Faye offers to get biscuits for Anna so they'll have something to serve the social worker.
  • Alya shares a little more of the work she's done on the website. Sally tries to help her when the computer malfunctions, but she ends up deleting everything. Alya is horrified. Carla orders Sally to stick the kettle on instead of messing about with technology.
  • Sophie asks Faye how she's doing. Faye admits she's scared to go back home and talk to the social worker.
  • Anna apologizes to the social worker for Faye's absence. She offers to bring the baby out for an inspection, but the social worker says that's fine. She can wait.
  • Faye opens up to Sophie. She wishes she'd had the baby in secret and left her at the hospital, as originally planned. She confesses she doesn't have any maternal feeling for her at all. In fact, she doesn't even think she likes her. Sophie encourages her to tell Anna. She's certain Anna will understand, but Faye is scared to disappoint Anna again. She makes Sophie promise not to tell anyone else.
  • Audrey greets Tracy and invites her to join the lunch party. She promises they won't talk about ANNA KARENINA. Tracy declines the invitation.
  • Sophie walks Faye home and tells her she's sure everything will come out all right in the end. Faye is far from consoled.
  • The social worker says the baby looks well. Does she have a name yet? How is Faye adjusting to her? It must be a challenge, given that Faye is so young herself. Faye says she's fine. She loves the baby. Who doesn't love babies?
  • Sally shares her dislike of shopping online. Alya retorts that it's how the younger generation does it. Carla compliments Alya on her positivity--something she wishes she saw in more of her employees--and offers to buy Alya dinner at the Bistro so they can go over Alya's online sales projections.
  • Anna tells the social worker she's doing fine. She's not tired at all, though she's decided to give up work so she can stay home with the baby while Faye goes to school. The social worker asks Faye how she feels about this, and what she really wants going forward. Faye admits she doesn't feel capable of bringing up the baby. She wants her to go to someone else.


  1. Replies
    1. NOT GREAT AT ALL. Eight of the thirteen episodes fails the Bechdel Test. :(

  2. Shocking how often Daredevil fails. ;)

    1. Even the passes are fairly inconsequential. And as far as I can recall, Vanessa never talks to another woman about anything at all, let alone anything that would pass the test. It was a mostly great show, but it let its female characters down.