Sunday, 27 January 2019

The Joni Awards - Celebrating the Worst of Coronation Street in 2018


From the people who bring you the Coronation Street podcast, Conversation Street!

Whilst our recent Conversation Street Awards celebrated the very best of Corrie in 2018, the Joni Awards, which feature in this weekend's podcast, are a different beast entirely. Here, we focus on the less than stellar characters and stories of the past twelve months, in an awards show named after Robert's ex-squeeze Joni Preston, who made an appearance that was memorable - for all the wrong reasons - when she turned up for a few episodes played by Sarah Harding in 2015.

Whilst you can hear our full reasons for why each 'winner' was picked in Episode 347 of the podcast, here's a quick summary of the results:

Mardy Mare Award: Beth Sutherland
Although we would have been happy for any number of stroppy ladies to have got this award - moody Michelle, cantankerous Kate, sullen Sophie - it was Beth who took the crown this year, a character who, though she didn't really have a story of her own last year, could always be relied on to chime in on someone else's affairs with a nasty remark or a moan. Just because you're going out with Buzzer the Bee, it doesn't mean you have to look like you're permanently chewing a wasp. Considering she hasn't had a whole lot of tragedy of her own to blame, is it too much to ask for her to lose the nasty edge that she seems to have acquired in recent times?
 
Dirty Dog Award: Johnny Connor
We almost forgot about this one when recording the podcast, at first giving the Dirty Dog Award to Tyrone for cheating on Fiz with Gemma. When we remembered about Johnny's one night stand with Liz, however, the ramifications of which are still ongoing, and which has caused a serious amount of upset for our fave Corrie lady Jenny, we just had to award it to him. Fortunately, he definitely seems to be on the up now, and is much closer to the character we've grown to love over the past few years.

Grey Hoodie Award: Simon Barlow
Our award for Corrie's least intimidating baddie of 2018 had to go to Simon Barlow. Even though he tries to put on an tough guy front and has been involved in a handful of petty crimes these past twelve months (pushing over Audrey, breaking into Flora's flat, blackmailing Toyah), even his granddad's little terrier Eccles has got more bark than him.
Ken, Do Something! Award: Shona Ramsey
Shona's easily one of our favourite new additions to the show in recent years, so this award isn't so much a criticism of her as it is a plea to Corrie storyliners to give her more to do in 2019 than being a side character to David stories and buttering barmcakes at Roy's Rolls.

Weatherfield Waterworks Award: Rana Nazir
A split from her husband, being kidnapped by her family, the death of her father, her new partner Kate attempting to seduce Adam just to get pregnant... Rana's certainly had a lot to cry about this past year. In fact, we struggle to picture her without her mascara running profusely now. Cheer up love, it might never happen! ... Oh, we've just read those press leaks...
Character Assassination Award: Jim McDonald
We can't have been the only ones to have cheered when we heard Big Jim was getting out of the Big House this year, but even his most fervent of fans must have had their loyalties tested upon realising the depths his character had sunk to. Passing off his Australian girlfriend Hannah as his and Liz's dead daughter Katie, claiming that there had been a mixup at the hospital? A despicable act indeed, and although he showed signs of remorse at the end, the fact that he still drove off with Hannah as the story concluded showed that he still hadn't really learned his lesson.

Rovers Rubbish Return Award: Mike Thornberry
French teacher Mike seemed like a decent enough chap when he arrived on the cobbles in the first half of the year, but it seemed like his final episode rolled around before he actually got to do anything of any substance. Fast forward to December, and Mike returns to the Street - would this be the chance for him to finally shake things up? No, not really. After a few more scenes sniffing around Liz, he'd disappeared into the night once more, leaving us wondering why Corrie had even decided to have him back in the first place.
 Give Over! Award: Jackie isn't really Tyrone's mum
As much as we've grown to love Evelyn over the past few months, we're sure her character could have been introduced without Corrie rewriting history, asking us to suspend our disbelief and accept that, although Jackie did raise Tyrone, she's been keeping it a secret all this time that she didn't actually give birth to him.

Build Up To Nowt Award: Sean's homelessness
We're actually quite fond of Sean here at Conversation Street, so were more than willing to give his homelessness story a shot this year. However, no sooner had we seen him spend a few nights sleeping rough on the Red Rec than he'd been rescued by Billy, and his whole experience - including the fate of his homeless friend Carol - was never mentioned again. Sean, meanwhile, seems to have learned nothing from the entirity of his time as a vagrant.
No-one Can Ever Know! Award: Toyah doesn't tell Peter about Jacquie's miscarriage
If you've just found out the surrogate for your unborn child has just had a miscarriage, you might think it's the sort of thing you'd want to tell your partner, right? Not so with Toyah! Thinking that the idea of a new baby was the only thing keeping Peter on the wagon, the Rovers landlady colluded with semi-sister Eva to keep the truth hidden from him, hoping to pass Eva's baby off as their own. What could possibly go wrong?

You Daft Apeth! Award: Sinead doesn't take her chemotherapy
We all know someone who's been affected by cancer, and how much going through chemotherapy treatment takes it out of you. The thing is though, it's often quite good at making you better. In the Autumn, Corrie highlighted the dangers of misinformation when it came to this kind of thing by having Sinead forego her chemo in favour of kale smoothies and general healthy living. Not the cleverest idea she's had, really, which became only too apparent to her when fellow chemo-dodger Steff promptly kicked the bucket.

Bobbins! Award: Jim and Hannah's scam
2018 certainly had its ups and downs where Corrie was concerned, but for every Aidan's suicide there was a Gina seducing Tim. When we think back at the least well received stories of the year, though, Jim and Hannah's sceme really was the lowest of the low points. As the longest running TV soap out there, Corrie has a fanbase for whom respect for the show's past is of upmost importance, and to have a story like Liz's grief over the death of her baby daughter trivialised in such a fashion was a seriously bad move. Thank goodness it really was all a scam, to be honest, as if Jim had been telling the truth, we reckon it would have been one retcon too far, and many viewers may have switched off for good.

So what do you think? Do you agree with our picks, or do you think there's someone out there more deserving of these awards? Perhaps there are other dishonourable titles you'd like to bestow on a character or story? If so, write down your ideas in the comments below!








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2 comments:

popcorn said...

You've pretty much nailed it.

Anonymous said...

Jeanie (anon):

All good points! In particular, I too really wondered about Sean and his homelessness story line--the writers made it the social awareness issue of the month--and then after all the lecturing, they dropped the whole thing into oblivion. Even Sean's friend conveniently vanished from the hospital...never to be seen again. When Eileen found Phelan's money I was hoping that Sean would suggest she donate it to the homeless shelter but instead they blithely launch into chatter about a five star in Ibiza as if Sean hadn't just been homeless two months before!

Another story I'd like to drop down the memory hole--and that was played out very poorly long term--was Billy's addiction. They made it so dramatic--the guy was penniless and reduced to stealing!--and then he goes off to rehab, comes back, and now is going merrily about his business like nothing has ever happened!

My message to the writers: if you're decide to do a serious social "issue" and lecture your audience, you need to show it play out over the long term. To deal with addiction or homelessness in a way that is super heavy and serious one moment, then "cured" and forgotten the next does an injustice to the life-challenging nature of the issue. I mean, Billy was shooting up in church and questioning the existence of God, and now he's back to trotting out his complacent spiritual platitudes as though these moments never happened.

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