Sam Brooks

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

Television
May 23, 2019

The Big C serves up the best kind of wish-fulfilment fantasy

All four seasons of Laura Linney cancer-comedy The Big C drops on Lightbox today. Sam Brooks writes about the series' surprisingly uplifting journey through a woman's nightmare.

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Television
Apr 13, 2019

Stacked was Pamela Anderson's stab at sitcom success

A sitcom starring Pamela Anderson as a bookstore employee in 2005? We're already laughing. Sam Brooks writes about the dusty two-season wonder that was Stacked.

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Music
Apr 12, 2019

Not your pop princess: Theia on her excellent new EP

Christchurch-born Theia's second EP Not Your Princess drops today. Sam Brooks chats with the singer about her new music and her video for International Women's Day.

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Music
Apr 10, 2019

‘Old Town Road’ and the blurred lines of country music

'Old Town Road' has gained fame not just for its country-hook goodness, but also for the controversy raging around it. Sam Brooks explores what the song's success says about country music's purity problem.

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Television
Apr 8, 2019

Killing Eve is back, and as good as ever

Killing Eve, last year's critical sleeper hit turned actual hit, returns to our screens today. Sam Brooks is ready to dive back in.

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Gaming
Apr 7, 2019

25 years a clown: In praise of Final Fantasy 6’s Kefka

How time flies – Final Fantasy 6 was released 25 years ago this month. Sam Brooks remembers its brilliant antagonist, an evil clown who actually succeeded in destroying the world.

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Television
Apr 4, 2019

Power-ranking the celebrities of Dancing with the Stars 2019

Armed only with a limited knowledge of sportspeople and breakfast radio, Sam Brooks power-ranks the celebs lining up to compete in Dancing with the Stars NZ this year.

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Tayla Parx
Apr 2, 2019

Tayla Parx is a pop superstar-in-waiting whose music you’ve already heard

She's written some of the biggest hits across the world the past few years, and now she's stepping into the limelight. Here's what you need to know about pop music's next superstar.

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Gaming
Apr 1, 2019

The unfairly tainted legacy of Mass Effect

After a recent replay of the original trilogy, Sam Brooks writes on the unfairly maligned legacy of the Mass Effect trilogy.

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Food
Apr 1, 2019

Jumping in at the deep end of the pint: A hop novice hits up the beer awards

The Beer and Cider Awards are serious business in the industry - so why not send along a beer novice to see what it's all about? Sam Brooks writes.

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Music
Mar 31, 2019

The Spinoff Music’s Songs of the Month: March

The queen of 2019 combining with the queen of a generation, a New Zealand band with the new teen-dance classic, a local artist breaking the floor with a new banger. These are the songs of the month.

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Gaming
Mar 28, 2019

Experience Bar is turning games into cocktails

Drinks and video games - just like peanut butter and jelly. Sam Brooks interviews Jack Stone-Slater, the man behind Experience Bar, which combines the dual pleasures of gaming and cocktails.

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Music
Mar 25, 2019

Brandy Clark: ‘If I can imagine the kitchen where they live, I can write the song’

The prolific and acclaimed country singer-songwriter Brandy Clark performs in Auckland tomorrow. Sam Brooks talked to her ahead of her performance.

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Society
Mar 25, 2019

Inside the bubble: At the Auckland Arts Festival during a week of mourning

After seeing three shows in the Auckland Arts Festival this week, Sam Brooks reflects on the place of art in the wake of national tragedy.

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Gaming
Mar 21, 2019

Before Instagram, there was Pokémon Snap

Twenty years ago – before Instagram – a game about documenting your every move was released. That game was Pokemon Snap.

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Gaming
Mar 20, 2019

Can You Pet The Dog? is the most wholesome thing in gaming

The internet is a place where the darkest seeds of the world take root – but there's light there too. Sam Brooks talks to the person behind one of those lights, the Can You Pet the Dog twitter account.

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Music
Mar 12, 2019

Spice Up Your Solo Career: Ranking the solo careers of the Spice Girls

There's no doubt that The Spice Girls are one of the biggest bands of all time - but how have they fared in the twenty-odd years since?

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Society
Mar 10, 2019

Review: Blanc de Blanc and The Magic Flute at the Auckland Arts Festival

How important is accessibility when it comes to enjoying and appreciating our art? Sam Brooks reviews Blanc de Blanc and The Magic Flute, both part of the Auckland Arts Festival.

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Television
Mar 7, 2019

In praise of Anika Moa Unleashed’s 20 year reunion of TrueBliss

Anika Moa Unleashed finishes up its second season with its most coveted and triumphant get yet: A twenty year reunion of TrueBliss.

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Gaming
Mar 7, 2019

Why can’t we make a good game about people in robots any more?

Left Alive has been released this past week to harsh reviews and studio backpedalling - yet another failure in the rare people-in-robots genre of game.

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Society
Mar 7, 2019

What a feminist future could look like: Julia Croft on working on her night moves

Working on my Night Moves is the latest show from award-winning theatremaker Julia Croft - and marks a philosophical change for her.

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Television
Mar 5, 2019

The Enemy Within is a fantastic spy thriller – and an even better character study

The Enemy Within combines the funnest parts of a spy thriller with the complexity of a character study, thanks to a compelling lead performance. Sam Brooks reviews.

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Now 31
Mar 4, 2019

Now that’s what we called 2009: Looking back at the monster hits of a decade ago

Sam Brooks steps back in time to 2009, the year of Now! That's What I Call Music 31. What did his younger self think of those songs – and do they still hold up today?

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Gaming
Feb 28, 2019

The definitive ranking of every Pokémon starter

This morning, Nintendo announced the eighth generation of Pokémon: Sword and Shield, and along with it came three starters. Sam Brooks ranks these starters - and all of the rest …

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Music
Feb 28, 2019

The Spinoff Music’s Songs of the Month: February

Our sword-queen returns, a reliable popstar deepens her foundations and Aldous Harding mesmerizes us with the power of dance. These are the songs of the month – five international, three local – as picked by The Spinoff’s culture editor Sam Brooks.

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Gaming
Feb 27, 2019

Breast is best: The controversy that plagues Dead or Alive

Less than a week out from release, Sam Brooks dips back into the breast physics controversy that has enveloped Dead or Alive 6.

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Music
Feb 22, 2019

Bea Lewis from Haiku Hands: ‘I just completely enter into a 45 minute vortex’

Australian band Haiku Hands had a social media smash with their song 'Not About You', and they're performing at Splore this weekend.

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