Sam Brooks

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

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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Food
Jul 10, 2021

One man’s agonising, thwarted attempt to spend 24 hours in a Denny’s

Our reporter did not fulfil his mission, but he learned a few things along the way.

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Gaming
Jul 6, 2021

We caught ’em all: Pokémon Go in New Zealand, five years on

Five years ago today saw the launch of Pokémon Go, just before it seemingly took over the world.

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Television
Jun 22, 2021

What A Love Yarn gets right and wrong about New Zealand

Another year, another sweet romantic ditty filmed in the land of the long white cloud. But how accurate is the NZ depicted in A Love Yarn?

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Television
Jun 19, 2021

Drag Race Down Under finale power rankings: We’ve got a winner, baby

After eight episodes, we've finally got Drag Race Down Under's first drag superstar, and she's a doozy.

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Society
Jun 19, 2021

‘The glamour is gone’: NZ’s greatest gossip on celebrities then and now

Legendary New Zealand gossip writer David Hartnell MNZM talks celebrity friends, men in makeup, and the importance of reinvention. 

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Society
Jun 17, 2021

An adventure every visit: From Skyworld’s glitzy launch to its bleak present

Twenty-one years ago, the Force Entertainment Centre was meant to be the crown jewel of Queen Street. What stands there now is the empty shell known as Skyworld.

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Television
Jun 12, 2021

Drag Race Down Under power rankings: Welcome to the talent-free talent show

You need charisma, uniqueness, nerve and... more talent than this.

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Gaming
Jun 11, 2021

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is the most fun PS5 game yet

Gaming’s favourite furry-and-robot duo roars back into action with the best PS5 game yet, writes Sam Brooks.

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Television
Jun 9, 2021

Review: Loki fundamentally misunderstands the MCU’s best villain

The third Marvel series to arrive on Disney+ tries to spin too many plates and loses what makes its anti-hero special.

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Television
Jun 5, 2021

Drag Race Down Under power rankings: No i in drag queen

Rugby meets drag for the first time in Drag Race herstory. and all the other action from this week's episode.

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Television
Jun 3, 2021

Ka nui te harikoa: Two delightful Māori TV shows more people should watch

Want a late-week injection of joy? Look no further than Lucky Dip and Five Minutes of Fame.

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Television
Jun 3, 2021

Popstars got what it wanted

The most anticipated local reality show of 2021 has crowned its Popstar and after a rocky road, it feels just right.

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Television
Jun 1, 2021

I spent an afternoon as the Pavlova from The Masked Singer NZ

What does it feel like, feel like, feel like underneath the mask?

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Television
May 29, 2021

Drag Race Down Under power rankings: RuPaul meets Suzanne Paul

But wait, there's more! It's the power rankings for episode five of RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under.

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Music
May 28, 2021

The Popstars finalists’ singles, reviewed

They're already on their way to being Popstars. So how are their tunes?

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Television
May 27, 2021

The highs, lows and whoas of the Friends reunion

Tonight the six Friends reunited on the Central Perk couch to look back at the TV show that made them stars.

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Television
May 26, 2021

Review: Uzo Aduba gives the performance of the year in HBO’s In Treatment

You might may have only vaguely heard of it, but don't miss out on In Treatment, one of 2021's most rewarding TV experiences.

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Television
May 22, 2021

Drag Race Down Under power rankings: A glamdickulous twist!

The fourth episode of RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under shakes up the competition with a shocking twist.

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Gaming
May 21, 2021

Review: Mass Effect Legendary Edition more than lives up to the title

Fans got what they want: the original Mass Effect trilogy in one package. But how does the series fare in a modern landscape?

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Television
May 16, 2021

Drag Race’s Michelle Visage on being an ally, living in New Zealand and loving L&P

The Drag Race judge talks to The Spinoff about her time in Auckland, the role of the show in queer culture, and why she's obsessed with our most-loved soft drink

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Television
May 15, 2021

Drag Race Down Under power rankings: All white is not all right

The third episode of RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under loses its only remaining queen of colour, and it's not OK.

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