The musings of a feminist pop culture fanatic

Bechdel Week: Monday

Monday night’s line-up includes How I Met Your Mother, Partners, Mike & Molly, and Revolution. It also typically includes Gossip Girl, but I am several weeks behind in that.

Written by Stephen Lloyd
Summary: Barney takes matters into his own hands when Robin is hesitant to end things with Nick; Marshall and Lily desperately want some private time.
Does this show pass the Bechdel test? Nope.

Of the two main female characters, both of their storylines revolve around men. Robin’s (Cobie Smulders) storyline focuses on her attempt to break up with Nick (Michael Trucco) and her ongoing romantic entanglement with Barney (Neil Patrick Harris). Lily’s plot focuses on her lack of a sex life with her husband Marshall (Jason Segel) since the birth of their son.

The only conversation that could possibly be considered in passing the Bechdel test is a phone call between Robin and Patrice, but we don’t actually understand what Patrice is saying because it’s all excited squealing.

“Temporary Insanity”
Written by David Kohan, Max Mutchnick & Jeff Astrof
Summary: When Ro-Ro goes on vacation, Louis asks Wyatt to fill in as their assistant at the office.
Does this show pass the Bechdel test? Not even close.

For starters, there’s only one regular female character on the show. She’s not really in the episode and the plot she has revolves a party she is planning for her jewelry store. We do see two unnamed secretaries having a conversation that is essentially a textbook example of sexual harassment, though.

“Yard Sale”
Written by Carla Filisha, Don Foster, Mark Gross, Alan Higgins & Mark Roberts
Summary: When the house starts feeling too cramped, Molly plans a yard sale; Mike and the guys try to distract Carl from his breakup.
Does this show pass the Bechdel test? Yes.

There are at least three scenes that pass the Bechdel test, but the conversations only consist of talk about the yard sale. There is a nice moment between Molly (Melissa McCarthy) and Peggy (Rondi Reed) when they realize they make a good team for dealing with customers.

“Ties That Bind”
Written by David Rambo & Melissa Glenn
Summary: Nora meets up with a relative and must choose between her family and keeping a promise; a ruthless militia member tracks Miles and the gang; Monroe issues a warning to Neville.
Does this show pass the Bechdel test? Yes!

We see multiple scenes throughout the episode (both in flashback and the present) of Nora (Daniella Alonso) and Mia’s (Alyssa Diaz) relationship and how they survived after the blackout. While they do occasionally talk about their father and Miles (Billy Burke), most of their conversations are about whether Nora should continue traveling with this group or join Mia. The sisters talk about whether Nora owes her allegiance to Miles and Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) or to her family. There is also limited conversation between Nora and Charlie about the subject, especially on whether Nora should trust her sister or not.

So, we end the night with a 50% success rate for the Bechdel test, though I feel it’s really more like 33%. The conversations featured on Mike & Molly were primarily superficial. Only Revolution featured really strong relationships between women, in which they talked about familial loyalty and trust.


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