the bechdel test


I’m afraid I’m at a stage in life where one of the most satisfying parts of the day is when my 2-year-old finally falls asleep and my partner and I can collapse on the couch and watch an addictive TV series. We signed up for Netflix several months ago to enjoy the full glory of Breaking Bad from start to finish.

There are some things you should know about Breaking Bad if you haven’t seen it. It’s got to be one of the best TV series ever. The characters are all super engaging, the script is smooth and flawless and the plot is generally (with some odd bits) fascinating. But I’m not sure it passes the Bechdel Test.

I didn’t know what the Bechdel Test was until a few weeks ago, but I’ve realised that it does genuinely, and in most instances, have a serious impact on my ability to enjoy any film or TV series. Wikipedia tells me that the Bechdel test “asks whether a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man.”

I’m really not sure if Breaking Bad did that, but it still managed to be excellent without giving me my usual sense of irritation that the plot revolved around men. So, not all TV programmes have to pass this test to be good. But think about TV programmes and films you’ve seen recently and you’ll be amazed at how few could actually pass this simple equality test. Because we’re fed through our entertainment system that important people are men; we’re fed through our entertainment system that women exist to support the important men; we’re fed through our entertainment system that women exist for the sexual pleasure and breeding purposes of the important men.

Can anyone recommend a TV series or some films that pass this test?