Sam Brooks

Sam Brooks is a playwright, journalist and critic. Email him on sam@thespinoff.co.nz

Media
Oct 16, 2021

Leah Panapa is running the show now

It was just a month ago that she got her dream gig, and also had the hardest on air shift of her life. 

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Television
Oct 5, 2021

Review: Diana, The Musical makes a mockery of the people’s princess

Netflix debuted its first Broadway musical this past weekend. Perhaps they shouldn’t have.

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Books
Oct 5, 2021
A grid of photographs, some obviously old and others modern, showing men looking straight to camera. A range of characters, ethnicities, eras.

Welcoming two books that act as windows into queer life in Aotearoa

One's a diary from the 1920s, the other a book of photos and stories of men born 30 years ago. Both are long overdue.

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Business
Oct 2, 2021

Couriers are the saviours of lockdown

With Aucklanders stuck inside and shopping up a storm, it's like Christmas for courier drivers – three months early.

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Television
Sep 28, 2021

It’s official: RuPaul’s Drag Race UK is the best of the franchise

Nobody does RuPaul’s Drag Race like the British.

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Books
Sep 27, 2021

Toni Street cracks open her past to share a life marked by grief

This is what happens when a natural storyteller writes a memoir.

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Television
Sep 21, 2021

How to survive on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under

With news that RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under is holding an open casting call, we asked this year's queens to share their advice for season 2 hopefuls.

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Television
Sep 15, 2021

Review: Reservation Dogs is groundbreaking Indigenous excellence

This new seriesisn't just a history-making collaboration between Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi, it's a crucial immersion into a world ignored.

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Books
Sep 12, 2021

Ashley Bloomfield fan art reaches new level with romance novella

Sam Brooks talks to the author of Instagram romance novella Blooming Desire about his work, and a fanfiction scholar about why so many of us want to read it.

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Society
Sep 8, 2021

What the 50 person limit means for New Zealand’s live events industry

Because you can’t pay rent on 50 tickets a show.

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Media
Sep 6, 2021

Leah Panapa just worked the shift from hell on Magic Talk

Peter Williams had departed suddenly. His morning radio audience was mad as hell.

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Gaming
Sep 6, 2021

Inside Viva La Dirt League’s YouTube empire

How has this Auckland comedy trio built an audience that most networks would kill for? They do exactly what they want.

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Business
Sep 1, 2021

That lockdown kind of magic: When Rainbow’s End meets level four

The fun never stops at Rainbow’s End – until it absolutely has to.

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Gaming
Aug 27, 2021

The best free games to play while you are stuck at home

Sick of watching things mindlessly? Keep your hands busy too with these free games.

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Gaming
Aug 25, 2021

The mobile game that lets you save real-life dogs

The delightful doggy distraction that does the world good.

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Media
Aug 20, 2021

Tracing the pop culture origins of Lorde’s ‘Mood Ring’ wig

The Spinoff’s resident wig correspondent Sam Brooks investigates those wavy blonde tresses that are showing up everywhere right now.

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Television
Aug 20, 2021

Review: Nine Perfect Strangers is neither perfect nor strange enough

The latest entry in the Kidman-Kelley-Moriarty canon is their weakest one yet.

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Television
Aug 19, 2021

What to binge watch this lockdown

Because you really should have watched Friday Night Lights by now.

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Society
Aug 18, 2021

How to wear your mask without your glasses fogging up

Eyeglasses + face mask = fog city. But there are some solutions.

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Tech
Aug 13, 2021

All the classic Windows screensavers, ranked

Don’t move that mouse! Hang around and relive the best of the classic screensavers, ranked from worst to best.

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Politics
Aug 11, 2021

Ten arty alternatives to Winston Churchill for parliament’s walls

Including doodlings by former politicians, memes, misattributed inspirational quotes, and whatever the hell they want.

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Gaming
Aug 2, 2021

What’s the biggest queer game developer in the world doing in New Zealand?

What do dicks, joysticks and queer politics have in common? This guy.

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Society
Jul 26, 2021

How an NZSL performance interpreter tells the whole story

How do you translate an English rhyme into NZSL? With a lot of time, patience and flair.

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Television
Jul 23, 2021

All the Summer Olympics opening ceremonies, ranked

How will the Tokyo Olympics' first-night party stack up against the opening ceremonies of Olympics past?

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NEON
Jul 19, 2021

An honest review of The White Lotus resort

Heaven is a five star resort. Hell is everybody staying there.

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Society
Jul 14, 2021

Alexa and me: A stutterer’s struggle to be heard by voice recognition AI

Sam Brooks has had a stutter for most of his life. Last week, he got a voice-activated assistant.

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