Sam Brooks

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

Television
Jun 2, 2020

Review: Netflix's Space Force crashes and burns with a laughless first season

The mind behind The Office reunites with Steve Carell to bring us... an unfunny mess?

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Television
Apr 13, 2020

Review: Phoebe Waller-Bridge returns with Run, an outstanding rom-com thriller

A rom-com thriller? Produced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge? Sign us up. Sam Brooks reviews Run, which arrives on Neon tonight.

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TVNZ
Apr 10, 2020

What you need to know about the world of Noughts + Crosses

Sam Brooks brings us up to speed on what you need to know before you watch Noughts + Crosses, set in an alternate version of present day Britain.

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Television
Apr 10, 2020

Another streaming service? Yup, but Quibi comes with a twist

Sam Brooks takes a look at new American streaming service Quibi, and asks what sets it apart from all the rest.

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Gaming
Apr 6, 2020

Review: The Final Fantasy VII Remake is the definitive version of Final Fantasy VII

Sam Brooks reviews the most anticipated game of the year: the Final Fantasy VII Remake.

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Television
Apr 5, 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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Food
Apr 2, 2020

Why I love: Metrolanes, the best (bowling alley) bar in Auckland

It's got one of the best happy hour wine deals in the city, and that's just the start.

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Television
Mar 29, 2020

Review: Netflix’s addictive Tiger King will leave you feeling grubby for watching

The new true crime documentary sensation shares many of the flaws of its own subject.

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Society
Mar 26, 2020

What artists need to know about Creative New Zealand’s new support package

We explain CNZ's new $16 million Emergency Response Package addressing the impacts of Covid-19, along with some added clarity from CEO Stephen Wainwright.

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Society
Mar 24, 2020

Covid-19: What are the rules for lockdown in New Zealand?

From Wednesday at 11:59pm, New Zealand will be in lockdown for four weeks. Here's what that means.

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Society
Mar 21, 2020

Covid-19: How to keep your friends while keeping your distance

As we head into our first weekend practising social distancing, Sam Brooks offers a few tips on how to be social while saying alone.

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Society
Mar 18, 2020

Covid-19 is pushing New Zealand’s performing artists to the brink

Sam Brooks surveys the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the performing arts community.

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NEON
Mar 16, 2020

What you need to know before watching the return of Westworld

HBO’s biggest drama since Game of Thrones returns for a third season to NEON tonight. Here’s everything you need to know about Westworld season three. 

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Society
Mar 13, 2020

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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Gaming
Mar 7, 2020

Review: Dreams shows the endless bounds and limits of the gamer’s imagination

Sam Brooks reviews Media Molecule's Dreams, the game that allows you to turn your dreams into (virtual) reality.

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Books
Mar 4, 2020

Book review: A gentle scalding of surprise hit Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Sam Brooks reviews Japanese novel Before the Coffee Gets Cold – which Aucklanders, inexplicably, will not stop buying.

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Gaming
Mar 3, 2020

A lifelong superfan finally gets to play the Final Fantasy VII remake

Lifelong superfan Sam Brooks got to play five hours of the Final Fantasy 7 remake ahead of its release. He reports back on how the game successfully adapts the twenty-year old classic.

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Money
Feb 29, 2020

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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Food
Feb 28, 2020

A tribute to the mightiest RTD of them all: the Gordon’s G&T

The new wave of RTDs might have cool labels and no carbs or whatever, but none come close to the perfection held within that little yellow can.

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Television
Feb 26, 2020

Review: I Am Not Okay With This is much less than the sum of its borrowed parts

Sam Brooks reviews I Am Not Okay With This, the series that feels like a calculated mash-up of a bunch of other Netflix shows you really liked.

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Television
Feb 25, 2020

Hannah Tamaki and the limits of controversy as publicity

After days of rumours, Mediaworks have removed Hannah Tamki as a cast members for the 2020 season of Dancing with the Stars. Sam Brooks reflects on the past two days of controversy.

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Media
Feb 25, 2020

A NZ director might have tanked his Daniel Radcliffe film with a series of bad tweets

Over the weekend, a Twitter spat blew up into a full blown controversy when New Zealander Jason Lei Howden blew up his own movie with a bizarre series of tweets.

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Media
Feb 25, 2020

Parental guidance advised: Local hero Ant Timpson on making Come to Daddy

He's been the country's leading supporter of the strangest films in the world, and now he's made his first feature film, starring Elijah Wood.

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Television
Feb 22, 2020

Review: The Clone Wars (almost) justifies the Star Wars prequel trilogy

The Star Wars prequels are universally regarded as the nadir of the franchise, but at least they gave us spinoff series The Clone Wars, writes Sam Brooks

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Media
Feb 21, 2020

What is Shen Yun and why do I keep seeing those ads everywhere?

Shen Yun ads are impossible to avoid, but what the hell is Shen Yun?

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TVNZ
Feb 20, 2020

The only thing Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist needs is more Kiwi bangers

Sam Brooks investigates what would happen if Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist took a trip to New Zealand to listen to our finest export: Our bangers.

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Food
Feb 17, 2020

Meat, mullets and masculinity: Two days at Meatstock 2020

Sam Brooks heads along to Meatstock 2020, and finds himself questioning the symbiotic relationship between meat-eating and machismo.

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