Sam Brooks

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

Television
Sep 23, 2018

Comedy Pilot Week is upon us. Here's what you need to know

Three's Comedy Pilot Week starts this Sunday night on Three - but what is this newfangled thing?

Read on.

Television
Jul 9, 2018

K' Road in the 80s: Westside and the making of the new Kiwi myths

Westside is back for a fourth season tonight on Three. Sam Brooks visited the set and came back with thoughts on how the show mythologises our country's recent history.

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Television
Jul 6, 2018

You got your Dancing with the Stars judges in my real estate ad

Is it a real estate ad if you see more of the Dancing with the Stars judges than you see of the house? Our DWTSNZ power-ranker Sam Brooks investigates.

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Ātea
Jul 3, 2018

‘We all need kindness’: theatre director Rose Kirkup on her show Big J Stylez

Everybody Cool Lives Here is one of Wellington's most exciting theatre companies, and their work Big J Stylez comes to Auckland's Herald Theatre this week as part of Matariki Season.

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Gaming
Jul 2, 2018

What happened to our game mascots?

Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Lara Croft, Mario – these characters defined gaming in culture for so long. So what happened to them?

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Television
Jul 2, 2018

The definitive and final post-season Dancing with the Stars power ranking

Who won the season – really? And who truly, truly lost the season? And who the hell is in between? Sam Brooks power ranks Dancing with the Stars one last time.

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Television
Jul 1, 2018

Dancing with the Stars, final week: And the winner is…

It's the final dance off, fully voted on by the public – and here are your final power rankings. Dancing with the Stars, it is over.

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Television
Jul 1, 2018

‘We have a gay agenda we’ll never drop’: Chris Parker and Eli Matthewson on The Male Gayz

Chris Parker and Eli Matthewson's hit podcast The Male Gayz is now a thing you can look at with your eyeballs, thanks to TVNZ on Demand.

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Television
Jun 27, 2018

From Terrence Malick to Magic Mike: The hidden gems in the Lightbox Movies catalogue

Lightbox Movies has a huge selection of movies to choose from, but film geek Sam Brooks is most excited about the obscure, hard-to-find and objectively best ones.

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Music
Jun 27, 2018

The many faces of Cher: a celebration

Cher is coming to town! We run through the many facets of Cher's career – and what makes her so special.

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Television
Jun 25, 2018

Dancing with the Stars, week one million: Ding dong, David’s gone

It's '90s week on Dancing with the Stars – approximately the decade when this series started. We're doing the power rankings again. And they have to dance not once, but twice! There …

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Media
Jun 25, 2018

Revealed: What Clarke Gayford really thinks about baby names

Footage emerges showing the PM's partner urging the choice of a 'rad middle name ... something that says their parents aren't as old and boring as they seem now'

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Ātea
Jun 20, 2018

Intention and joy: The Breaker-Upperers’ Ana Scotney on her new play

Breakout performer of local hit The Breaker-Upperers, and now award-winning theatre maker, Ana Scotney is the definition of a rising star.

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Television
Jun 18, 2018

Dancing with the Stars, week eight: Tumbling through ecstasy

It's a wintry theme this week on a Cato-less Dancing with the Stars. Who adjusts to the winter chill and who is left out in the cold? These puns and more in week eight's power rankings.

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Television
Jun 16, 2018

All the things I learned from Angela Lansbury’s 1988 wellness video

The 80s were a time for wellness videos from all kinds of celebrities. But the best one? Dame Angela Lansbury's.

Read on.

Gaming
Jun 15, 2018

What happened at E3: a very quickfire round up

E3 is a whirlwind of press conferences, trailers and gamer reactions, and so much happens that it's almost impossible to keep up with it all. Sam Brooks has your essential E3 cheat sheet.

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Gaming
Jun 13, 2018

Who the heck are all the new characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?

Nintendo had their E3 press conference today – and obviously the most important part was who's being added to the new Super Smash Bros. game. Sam Brooks takes a look at the new characters.

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Television
Jun 12, 2018

What’s a Real Housewife doing hosting a talk show about theatre?

A talk show... about theatre? You mean Shakespeare and shit? Sam Brooks watches the first episode of Louise Wallace's Opening Night. Theatre is a hard sell. Even for people who enjoy …

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Gaming
Jun 12, 2018

A play-by-play reaction to the E3 Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer

The new trailer for the much-anticipated latest entry in the Final Fantasy/Disney crossover series Kingdom Hearts premiered at E3 today.

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Television
Jun 12, 2018

‘I Am’ is a brutally honest and revelatory documentary series

TVNZ's new series of documentaries explores the experiences of New Zealanders living with adversity. Sam Brooks reviews I Am.

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Television
Jun 11, 2018

Dancing with the Stars week 7: Seeya seeya later

It was a rough week for Dancing with the Stars, with a lot of low-lights (twerking, reggaeton) and only one shining highlight. Sam Brooks reveals this week's power-rankings.

Read on.

Gaming
Jun 9, 2018

Why the Tales series is the traditional JRPG’s best hope for survival

The JRPG has been in decline for the past decade, but the Tales series continues to attract a dedicated audience. Sam Brooks investigates how it has survived so long.

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Gaming
Jun 7, 2018

A wild Pokemon appears – 20 years later, unused

What happens to the unused Pokemon who never make it to a game? They get leaked 20 years later and ruthlessly insulted.

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Television
Jun 4, 2018

Dancing with the Stars, week six: Lightning crashes, an old Robbie cries

Marama Fox is gone, god is dead, but Dancing with the Stars is still here - with TRIO dances? Sam Brooks power ranks whoever is left on this show. ELIMINATED: Robert …

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Television
May 31, 2018

Meet the women who’ll be stealing scenes on Jono and Ben this year

Jono and Ben is back for another season, and they're refreshing their comedic stable with some new faces, most of them women. Let's meet them!

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Television
May 29, 2018

Your comprehensive guide to the new and improved Lightbox

Lightbox has a bunch of new options – but are you wondering how to use them? Never fear, tech adept Sam Brooks is here to help.

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Television
May 29, 2018

Olivia: The Delta Goodrem Vanity Project

Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted to You was as awkward as its title, and as bald a vanity project as they come.

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