Sam Brooks

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

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.

Read on.

Ātea
Apr 21, 2021

Rawiri Paratene is a proud paka

The actor, protestor and overall blimmin' legend in conversation on the eve of his final show.

Read on.

Television
Apr 20, 2021

Review: Mare of Easttown is Kate Winslet at her best

Too bad the show doesn't quite deserve it.

Read on.


Review
Apr 14, 2021

Review: Popstars reboot is more flop than pop

It might have the same name, but Popstars is nothing like the original show. And that's a problem.

Read on.

Gaming
Apr 13, 2021

Game over: Why gaming peaked in 2001

Plug in your controller, blow in your cartridge, here's why gaming was better 20 years ago.

Read on.

Television
Apr 8, 2021

Review: New Zealand Today lets our wonderful weirdos shine

Breaking: the team of five million is not made up of normies.

Read on.

Television
Apr 3, 2021

Bottoms up! The best moments from Melodownz’s Kava Corner

Melodownz' interview series Kava Corner is one of the gentlest, most wholesome joys of the internet. Here's the best of it.

Read on.

Society
Mar 30, 2021

A rocky road to healing: A day at the inquiry into historic abuse in state care

The Spinoff was in the room to witness a quiet reckoning with an almost unbearably painful history.

Read on.

Food
Mar 27, 2021

Enter the void: True stories of working a bottomless brunch shift

Wellington councillors want to pump the brakes on this day-drinking trend, but how bad can it be?

Read on.

NEON
Mar 22, 2021

You love to hate them: How to crack the influencer code

Fake Famous tries to create three influencers from scratch. But how do you actually become an influencer? Here are some (dubious) tips.

Read on.

Television
Mar 19, 2021

Review: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier wins big by going small

The second Marvel show to arrive on Disney+ again pumps the brakes on narrative to explore the characters at its centre.

Read on.

Television
Mar 18, 2021

Review: Zack Snyder’s Justice League is still a very bad movie

Four years since Joss Whedon dropped his cut of Justice League, original director Zack Snyder gets the chance to tell his story his way.

Read on.

Television
Mar 15, 2021

Does it hold up? Looking back at the shaky progressiveness of Ugly Betty

Fifteen years ago, a girl called Betty joined a magazine called Mode. How does the show named after her look now?

Read on.

Media
Mar 9, 2021

Local commentator obsessed with American woman

The 15 columns Kate Hawkesby has written about Meghan Markle since 2018 read like rants to a weary bartender at last call.

Read on.

Food
Mar 9, 2021

Why do ‘moa-flavoured’ chips exist, and what do they taste like?

Is nothing sacred? Apparently not. We explain the ‘Wavy Moa Burger’ flavoured Pringle.

Read on.

Television
Mar 8, 2021

The most revealing moments from that blockbuster Meghan and Harry interview

The most revealing moments from the most hyped interview of the year.

Read on.

Television
Mar 7, 2021

Kia ora kuīni: Meet the contestants on Drag Race Down Under

The 10 Australian and New Zealand competitors on this year's local version of RuPaul's Drag Race have been revealed.

Read on.

Society
Mar 4, 2021

Not just a bump in the road: Performing artists on lockdown’s cruel blows

The move to level three in Auckland, and level two across the rest of the country, has once more thrown the live arts into disarray.

Read on.

Television
Mar 3, 2021

Ten things you should be watching on Star

There are 435 films and 155 series on new Disney+ bolt-on service Star. Where on earth do you start?

Read on.

Gaming
Feb 27, 2021

Review: Persona 5 Strikers is a match made in crossover heaven

What do you get if you mix a little bit of Persona with a little bit of Musou? A whole lot of fun.

Read on.

Television
Feb 24, 2021

Warning: Britney Ever After is NOT Framing Britney Spears

Have you been duped by a Lifetime movie masquerading as a documentary?

Read on.

Television
Feb 23, 2021

Review: Allen v Farrow finally places Dylan at the centre of her own story

The new docuseries clears away the clutter of a messy saga, and refocuses the story back on the person it was always really about.

Read on.

Television
Feb 23, 2021

Disney plus… plus? Everything you need to know about new streaming service Star

Today, Disney launches a new part of its streaming service, Star. But what in the Mickey Mouse is it?

Read on.

Television
Feb 21, 2021

Review: Lindy Chamberlain finally gets a happy ending in Trial in the Outback

The most wronged woman in Australia gets to tell her story.

Read on.

Society
Feb 21, 2021

Two years after the breakup, what does Pride in Auckland look like?

What separates the Rainbow Pride Parade and the Pride March? A thin blue line.

Read on.

Television
Feb 20, 2021

Review: We Are Who We Are is a queer love letter to Gen Z from Gen X

The new limited series from Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino treats this zoomer love story like it's paradise.

Read on.

Television
Feb 13, 2021

Mmm whatcha say: A definitive list of all the silly things that happened on The OC

California, here we come! Sam Brooks looks back at the wildest moments from the mid-aughts teen drama.

Read on.

The Spinoff is made possible by the generous support of the following organisations.
Please help us by supporting them.