Sam Brooks

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

Television
Jan 15, 2021

Review: WandaVision is the first artistic triumph of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

A tribute to the sitcoms of old? In the Marvel Cinematic Universe? You better believe it.

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Society
Jan 10, 2021

What is the objectively correct number of tabs to have open?

This is yet another tab clogging up your browser, and that's fine.

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Politics
Jan 8, 2021

The insider: Three decades of amazing Michelle Boag headlines

Michelle Boag has been one of the country’s most infamous right-wing political insiders. Here’s a brief rundown of her headlines over the past thirty years.

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Money
Jan 2, 2021

You need a will, you idiot

Less than half of New Zealand adults have a will. One hundred percent of New Zealand adults die.

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Television
Jan 1, 2021

Your hate only makes Gwyneth Paltrow stronger

She's an Oscar-winning actress, a widely hated celebrity and founder of one of the most successful wellness brands in the world. And all your jade egg jokes make no difference at all.

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Television
Dec 31, 2020

Lucy Lawless as Stevie Nicks is New Zealand’s forgotten comedy masterpiece

Twenty-two years ago, Lucy Lawless wasn't just playing Xena, she was part of one of SNL's greatest ever sketches. Sam Brooks pays tribute to Stevie Nicks Fajita Round-Up.

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Music
Dec 30, 2020

What happened when John Campbell got ‘off his nut’ on kava with Melodownz

Ever wanted to see John Campbell lit on Kava? Look no further than Melodownz' new show, Kava Corner.

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Gaming
Dec 29, 2020

What is Among Us and should I let my kid play it?

It’s the third most streamed game in the world, but what the hell is it?

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Television
Dec 28, 2020

A definitive list of every ridiculous thing that happened on Sex and the City

Definitive list maven Sam Brooks tackles 90s classic Sex and the City. It does not go well.

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Television
Dec 26, 2020

The films of Studio Ghibli and when to show them to your kids

A lifelong Studio Ghibli fan guides you through what films to introduce your kids and when.

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Television
Dec 25, 2020

Review: Netflix’s Bridgerton brings us Shonda Rhimes greatness when we need it most

What do you get when you mix Downton Abbey with Gossip Girl? A bloody good time, that’s what.

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Society
Dec 24, 2020

The orphan’s Christmas

It’s hard to be alone at Christmas. It’s even harder to be lonely at Christmas.

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Society
Dec 18, 2020

The Aotearoa Spinoff Time Capsule 2020: Culture on a USB stick

Sam Brooks fills up a USB with everything that our descendants will need to understand the crapshoot that is life in 2020.

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Gaming
Dec 17, 2020

Review: Cyberpunk 2077 is more glitch than game

It was all set to be the biggest game of the year, but Cyberpunk 2077's release has been overshadowed by technical hitches and multiple controversies.

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Review
Dec 11, 2020

Review: The Prom is another act of cultural vandalism from Ryan Murphy

Netflix’s The Prom, adapted from the Broadway musical of the same name, is the latest outrage from the television auteur, and we've had enough.

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Books
Dec 7, 2020

Review: Ready Player Two deserves a ruthless force-quit

Sam Brooks pines for an alternate reality in which he did not read this book.

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Ātea
Dec 5, 2020

Review: The Modern Māori Quartet is a celebration of the magic of a crowd

Imagine a raucous garage party, with better talent, lighting and sound: welcome to the Modern Māori Quartet's new show.

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Gaming
Dec 2, 2020

Review: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla fails to make colonisation fun

In the mood for some good old fashioned pillaging? Then play this. But if you want to have a good time while doing so, best to look elsewhere.

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NEON
Dec 2, 2020

What I learned about Christmas by watching too many Christmas movies

It’s December. You know what that means? Christmas is here. You know what else that means? Christmas movies are here.

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Television
Dec 1, 2020

All the questions The Undoing didn’t answer

All the questions that will never be answered by this confounding show.

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Television
Nov 25, 2020

Review: Netflix’s Hillbilly Elegy is an ugly, empty holler of a film

What happens if you take a personal memoir and strip it of everything that made it unique? You get Hillbilly Elegy.

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Television
Nov 18, 2020

Review: The Queen’s Gambit is popcorn fun wrapped up in prestige regalia

Everybody’s watching The Queen’s Gambit, but what about this limited Netflix series makes it so damn compelling?

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Television
Nov 15, 2020

Review: The Crown shines with Diana, stumbles with Thatcher

As The Crown creeps closer to the present day, its apolitical approach is becoming more of a problem.

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Television
Nov 13, 2020

How did Anika Moa become the best interviewer in New Zealand?

Anika Moa is back with a new show and she’s doing what she does best: talking to people.

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Gaming
Nov 9, 2020

What is Among Us and should I let my kid play it?

It’s the third most streamed game in the world, but what the hell is it?

Read on.

Review
Nov 7, 2020

Review: The PlayStation 5 is a delightful big boy of a console

The Playstation 5 is Sony's entry into the new generation of gaming. How does the big unit fare?

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