The GarettVerse

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Fanfiction
Title: The GarettVerse
Author(s): BrooklineGirl
Date(s): 2006-present
Length:
Genre:
Fandom: The Sentinel
External Links: [GarettVerse] (old link)
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at AO3

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The GarettVerse is a 2005 shared RPS universe in which down-on-his-luck Sentinel star Garett Maggart (Blair Sandburg) lives with struggling actor Ken Wahl (of Wiseguy fame) and has a crush on his more successful co-star Richard Burgi (Jim Ellison.)

It is a very rare example of RPS in Sentinel fandom.[1]

The universe was the brainchild of BrooklineGirl, who had help (encouragement? aiding and abetting?) from Estrella. [2]

GarettVerse stories often depict Maggart as an adorkable loser, Wahl as creepy, and Maggart's half-sister (Fiona Apple) as an eater of babies. They tend to be very tongue-in-cheek. In addition to Maggart and Wahl, stories have featured David Hewlett, Hugh Dillon and Callum Keith Rennie. The latter two link the GarettVerse with 6 Degrees of Canada and Canadian Actor RPS.

Since its inception, several other fans have written GarettVerse stories, including Estrella, KevBot, Lalejandra, Sassy, and thefourthvine.

Some fans were offended by the tone of the 'verse, stating that they weren't against RPS, but found the portrayal of Garett Maggart as a desperate, bumbling idiot to be objectionable.

Other fans were incensed by the very existence of "GarettVerse," and/or RPS and RPF in general.

Disclaimer

Disclaimer: HI THE GARETTVERSE IS A FICTIONAL THING. NONE of this is based on reality. It is a WORK OF FICTION. Garett doesn't live with Ken Wahl. I am making these things up for fun and NOT PROFIT. If you are, or think you may be, Garett Maggart or one of his relations, you probably don't want to read this. [3]

Excerpt

"And then there's the sad fact that I omg really want to write Garett Maggart/Fiona Apple fic. Just - it fucking amuses me to death, and I can totally work in the whole fact that in my head, Garett rooms with Ken Wahl, and they're both, like, broke, and spend all their spare time googling their own names and fighting over who has the bigger fanbase."

[from "A Better Version of Me"]:

"He's not that bad!" Garett said unconvincingly. He swung his legs up on the bed and let his head hang back off the end. "He's just - sort of - I mean." He sighed, frowning up at the ceiling. "He's got maybe too much free time on his hands."

"Unlike you?" Fiona said, emerging from the bathroom in her kimono, rubbing her wet hair with a towel.

"Hey, I keep busy!" Garett stared at his sister. From this upside-down vantage point, she looked kind of like a space alien.

"Mm." Fiona sat on the edge of the bed, not really paying attention to him.

"I'm doing Moonridge again!"

"Uh-huh. Will your little boyfriend be there this year?"

"He's not little! Um." Garett flushed as Fiona turned her amused stare on him. "And he's not my boyfriend." Garett sat up, feeling a little dizzy from being upside down. He wasn't even sure if Richard was going to come this year. He'd said yes, but that was months ago. "There are tons of women there. You don't even know. They love me."

"Okay. Garett." Fiona patted his shoulder. "Now get out. I have to get ready to go. See, I have what they call a career."

She nudged him and he got up with a sigh, allowing her to propel him towards her bedroom door. "Can we come over later? If you're not home? Our cable's out again."

Fiona sighed. "Yeah. Just - keep an eye on Ken, okay? Don't let him touch my stuff."

"He's harmless."

"He's dirty."

"Not always!"

Fiona shook her head at him and patted his head, shutting the door between them. Garett chewed on his lower lip. "And I have a career, you know."

"Demon Under Glass doesn't count, Garett," Fiona called through the door.

"I did Days of Our Lives, too!" he said indignantly.

"Go home, Garett." He heard her hair dryer start up, and sighed. Demon Under Glass did too count. There was a Yahoo group and everything. [4]

Comments

From a Fan Discussion in 2006

The three comments from this discussion below are from I'm a "dyed in the wool" slasher but.... See that post for more.

[Pat K]: there's something deeply disturbing about finding RPS that includes the two lead actors of TS, at least that's how I feel about it. I actually hoped (yes, I'm naive sometimes) that TS would be spared that particular variety of "slash". I'm feeling sick right now. Really sick, and this is something that doesn't happen often.

I don't like RPS including any real life person in any case because, for heaven's sake, we're talking living people here, not fictional characters who can't really feel hurt. Seeing it so "close to home", so to speak... I'm really... dismayed.

I know, I know, one could say "so just don't read it" but the simple *knowledge* that it's out there is enough to make me feel really uneasy and uncomfortable. I'm feeling very strongly about this right now, it's crossing a line that shouldn't be crossed - not with any real living people.

It's... scary, I guess. Thinking that out there are people who can't restrict themselves to playing with fictional characters but go for the "real" people behind the characters in their writing. I wonder if they have any boundaries left they won't overstep and I fear to discover they might not.

This is *so* not good.

PatK ...can't bring myself to add the usual smiley under my name right now.

[suzio]: I'm coming in pretty late to this discussion, but the feelings I have are mirrored all through this post and it's responses. I hate rps and found "Garettverse" not long ago and while I don't like rps, I admit to enough curiosity to read one...and that was more than enough for me.

It's bad enough to write about Garett and Richard in this way (and I agree with the whole diatribe of emotions and opinions here against it), but the characterization of Garett was so beyond anything that I can even express my offense at. I mean, to take such a bright, lovely, wonderful man and representing him as a useless, spineless, whiny, horrid joke of a man who is literally crawling after Richard, who is his own version of yuck...it made me so ill I just wanted to hurl.

Not only do I think Garett would be horrified at it, I think he'd be incredibly hurt and that just makes me fighting mad that anyone thinks this is fucking funny. It's not and no, to any of them that might read this, I do Not need an adjustment to my sense of humor - they need a fucking clue bus or ten to hit them. It's meanspirited, crude, cruel, ugly and unnecessary. I agree we can't start a war over it...it won't stop them and it would likely elevate it higher than it already is...but damn it's hard to see it out there for anyone, Garett included, to find.

*hugs Pat* Your post about the REAL Garett was lovely. Let's just hope he never finds out about this mess.

[cmshaw]: *hugs pat gently*

i certainly don't want to get you to like rps -- i have no interest in it myself, so that would be awfully silly -- but i'm afraid it's a slashers' taboo that was broken years ago and it probably isn't going to go away again ever. when i was upset about it, some people offered me different ways of looking at it so that i began to understand it as far less intrusive and offensive than i'd originally thought. the most useful one, for me, was seeing it as tabloids for slashers: a parody of celebrity gossip and not in fact fanfiction at all. i like tabloids even less that i like rps (which is to say, i pretty much hate tabloids) but i've had to accept that they're out there for people who like that sort of thing....

From a 2008 Discussion

From RPS in The Sentinel Fandom?, see that article for more comments.

[carodee]: I've only been in TS fandom since 2003 and, from various comments and the fact I've never stumbled across it, I assumed the statement that RPS never existed in The Sentinel was true. Now it appears that it did exist but was underground. I think that's a bit of TS fannish history that shouldn't be lost....

RPF/RPS makes me uncomfortable but I have to acknowledge that it's a form of fanfic fandom that's huge and here to stay. There's always going to be some kinds of fan fiction written that the majority disapproves strongly of but actively making it go away (rather than a strong disinterest, which is what I think (please correct me if I'm wrong) happened with het in TS) doesn't seem right to me either. If TS RPS did continue on the QT, I find that very interesting and even comforting as an example that fan fiction cannot be stopped. Even if the Internet became unfriendly, fans will always find a way to share their stories. *makes fist of fannish solidarity*

So I guess I'm asking if anyone in TS fandom has personal knowledge which confirms this? I'm not interested in links (if those even exist) to RPS fics nor in debating the morality of RPS (although I expect that'll happen anyway. Wank is eternal.). What I am interested in is simply rescuing a bit of TS fannish history. Did this happen? How did people organize this? Was it a closed circle of friends or was there a known way to get added? Any links to group discussions in the larger fannish community? I find it interesting that it wasn't private email but actual snail mail. Does anybody know why? If you're still in TS fandom, feel free to answer anonymously.

[roslynsmuse]: The issue goes back to analogies between fanon versus canon. When a story contains the names of Blair and Jim, no one gets hurt if the story deviates from 'canon' which is still understood to be fiction. However, when the names Garett and Richard appear in fiction, you have fanon versus real life stories going around that can interfere with their getting jobs, relationships with family and friends etc. as the stories travel. The National Enquirer has been successfully sued for dramatizing events in the lives of celebrities and damaging them. Who is to know the origin of rumor and innuendo based upon people using the names of celebrities for personal amusement, in porn or whathaveyou.

I really think it is disrespectful to the celebrities and their managers, studios, families etc. to use their real names in fictional stories. There is no way to set limits on what is acceptable and what isn't so such efforts, IMO, don't belong as a part of fandom. What goes on underground is up to the individuals so engaged but I wouldn't be part of any organized effort to make it part of fandom.

I have to say that I stay away from Supernatural fan fic (finally saw the first season DVD, I don't have a TV) because of the RPS stuff. I wasn't a fan of the incest themes anyway but at least that was a fictional sam/dean thing and optional in terms of reading. But I really don't like using the names of real people in fan fic because it ceases to be 'tranformative'. I don't think I have the right to deal in 'tranformative' writing about living people without their consent. We already have the tacit consent of the principals involved with movie and television shows to produce fan fic. However, if RPS becomes large in fandom, fan fic itself may wind up being resisted by TPTB instead of encouraged/tolerated.

Can you imagine GM or RB reacting to their names in stories? Didn't GM tease a lot of people at private UK con about his Blair character always being the one to 'bottom' in slash fan fic? Do you really think he would appreciate it if the name GM appeared in such stories?

Guess I like to see clear lines drawn between reality and fiction. RPS allows for too much blurring of those lines and I don't see it as encouraging creativity, fostering celebrity and studio support for our hobby of fan fic writing and do see it as having the potential to really damage people (authors and their subjects).

[alyburns]:

in the fandom since '97, there was never any kind of backlash against RPS in TS of the kind that would drive it underground, so to speak. The biggest war in TS history was over DD. But that doesn't mean that there weren't flaps about it - if and when it came up - there are always loud people who will try to stop stuff. I posted my own thoughts on RPS (not for me) awhile back when the wank was about a series of RPS involving Garett (and RB and others). It got a lot of mileage, especially when one individual did a story that showed GM in a very unflattering light. But honestly, that's the only kerfuffle I recall on the subject - although whenever RPF came up - folks would weigh in and the overall consensus was a big fat NO. :) But so what? Like you said, folks are going to do it - they're going to do whatever they want - and loud doesn't stop it. :)

I remember one of the online arranged chats with Garett and RB and all the joking the two did - from everything regarding Garett's hair ("He looks like Art Garfunkle") to RB's kids. At the end, RB closed it down by saying that his son was yelling for dinner and I remember the minute the chat was over, several of us started fantasizing about Garett being there with RB and that led to...well, you get my drift. If any two men could be considered ripe for RPS - it would be those two! LOL! And yes, I'd talk about it, wonder about it, fantasize about it - but for me, I'd never write it and *post* it - not because I think it's *wrong* - I don't anymore - I've learned the broadness of the term - but because I *care* about the two men in question and would not...what's a good word or phrase here? Would not tread on them in such a way? Come to think of it - I wouldn't do it even with actors I don't know. :) It's just wrong for *me* - but you know what? I'd write it for myself. :) I just wouldn't post it for the world to see and family members to stumble upon on the off chance some could be hurt. Some might laugh, but some might not.

Anyway, that's the best I can offer in the way of history. Right now, on senad, as you know, a very polite and thoughtful discussion is taking place on the subject - and it's been a delight to read and watch. I think the fandom has come a long way.

Meta and Further Reading

References

  1. RPS in The Sentinel fandom? accessed October 31, 2008
  2. this is almost definitely my last post about garett for the day, accessed October 31, 2008
  3. GarettVerse
  4. from A Better Version of Me, Archived version, October 2005