The musings of a feminist pop culture fanatic

Bechdel Week: Wednesday

Wednesday is pretty light for me. Tonight’s line-up includes Modern Family, Suburgatory, Nashville, and American Horror Story: Asylum. I also watch Top Chef on Wednesdays, but I decided to exempt reality shows from this study.

Reminder of the Bechdel test qualifications: At some point in the episode, two women must talk to each other about something other than a man. Simple enough, right?

MODERN FAMILY
“Mistery Date”
Written by Jeffrey Richman
Summary: Alex’s academic decathlon means a weekend getaway for Manny and Luke when Claire brings them along, but they’re preoccupied with meeting girls at the hotel. Meanwhile, Phil plans a guys’ night at home with a fellow alumnus he just met.
Does the show pass the Bechdel test? Yes!

Every scene between Claire (Julie Bowen) and Alex (Ariel Winters) passes the Bechdel test, as they are at an academic decathlon and the conversation revolves around if Claire embarrasses Alex by bragging about her accomplishments.

SUBURGATORY
The Wishbone”
Written by Brian Chamberlayne
Summary: Tessa wants to spend Thanksgiving in New York City with her mother, who’s en route from Berlin, and her grandmother, though the holiday doesn’t turn out like she planned. Meanwhile, Dallas recruits George to prepare a feast.
Does the show pass the Bechdel test? Yes!

The central plot of the episode focuses on Tessa (Jane Levy) meeting her mother for the first time. So, nearly every conversation between Tessa, her mother Alex (Malin Ackerman), and her grandmother passes the test. They occasionally end up talking about how George (Jeremy Sisto) will react to the meeting, but it’s not the central focus of the conversation. We also see Dallas (Cheryl Hines) and Dalia (Carly Chaikin) telling Alex about what Tessa is like. Finally, we see a really heartfelt conversation between Tessa and Alex about music and what it’s like for Tessa in the suburbs.

NASHVILLE
“You’re Gonna Change (or I’m Gonna Leave)”
Written by Meredith Lavender & Marcie Ulin
Summary: Rayna wants her music to have a fresh sound, so she contacts a producer with a solid track record. Meanwhile, Juliette tries to get good publicity by dating an NFL player with a pristine reputation; Lamar carries out a scheme to hinder Coleman.
Does the show pass the Bechdel test? Just barely

At the beginning of the episode, Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) and her manager have a really brief conversation about how to rehabilitate Juliette’s image. There’s an additional scene between Juliette and her manager towards the end of the episode. Outside of that, we barely even see two women talk to each other.

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM
“I Am Anne Frank, Pt. 2”
Written by Brad Falchuk
Summary: Sister Jude digs up dirt on Arden. Later, Kit makes a surprising confession; and Bloody Face is unmasked.
Does the show pass the Bechdel test? Just barely

Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe) and Grace (Lizzie Brochere) have a very brief conversation about the medical procedure being forced on Grace. We also very briefly see Alma (Britne Oldford) talking to another woman.

We end the night with two shows passing with flying colors and the other two just narrowly meeting the requirements.

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