Sam Brooks

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

Books
Jul 17, 2019

Review: A book that redeems video games – and the people who play them

Sam Brooks, lifelong gamer, lost himself on a virtual battlefield in the days after his mother’s death. He reviews a book by a kindred spirit.

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Television
May 13, 2019

Dancing with the Stars, week five: Nipple out, Mike out

We're halfway through the celebrity stepping competition that is Dancing with the Stars. Sam Brooks power-ranks week five!

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Society
May 13, 2019

Review: The Audience is a missed opportunity on almost every level

Much like its subject, The Audience is blandly pleasant and frustratingly naive. Sam Brooks reviews Auckland Theatre Company's latest production.

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Society
May 12, 2019

The misery porn of Game of Thrones isn’t profound. It’s just miserable

Sam Brooks swims against the cultural tide in noping out on Game of Thrones.

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Gaming
May 10, 2019

A play-by-play of the new Final Fantasy 7 remake trailer

The new trailer for the much anticipated, oft delayed Final Fantasy 7 remake is here. Optimist and superfan Sam Brooks breaks it down for you.

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Television
May 8, 2019

Review: Educators is a dark, hilarious take on the brutal existence of a teacher

Sam Brooks reviews Educators, a beautifully morbid and mean-spirited New Zealand comedy about high school teachers.

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Society
May 8, 2019

Emily Writes on taking Rants in the Dark from the page to the stage

Emily Writes' bestseller Rants in the Dark is coming to Auckland – as a play! Sam Brooks talks to her about the process of seeing her book adapted for the stage.

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Society
May 7, 2019

Live power-ranking the 2019 Met Ball Gala looks

It's the 2019 Met Ball Gala, and the theme is Camp! In an act of fully precedented hubris, Sam Brooks ranks the looks as they come down the red carpet.

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Television
May 6, 2019

Dancing with the Stars, week four: Lifting up ladies for charity

It's week four of celebrity deadlifting competition, Dancing with the Stars. Sam Brooks power-ranks the contestants.

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Television
May 6, 2019

Review: Abby’s is breezy fun in a vintage package

Cheers for a millennial audience? A three-camera sitcom that you can laugh at without feeling guilty? Sounds great! Sam Brooks reviews Abby's.

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Television
May 5, 2019

Fresh Eggs’ Danielle Cormack on playing a monster with ‘mince and cheese hair’

She's more than a New Zealand icon - she's a New Zealand star. Sam Brooks interviews Danielle Cormack about her role as Lulu in Fresh Eggs

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Books
May 5, 2019

“The book was a way to confront the trauma I had been ignoring”

Playwright and Spinoff culture editor Sam Brooks talks to Val Emmich, author of Dear Evan Hansen, about the process of adapting a smash Broadway musical into a book.

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Society
May 4, 2019

Satellites: Putting the spotlight on Auckland’s Asian artists, in the burbs

Satellites is a series of public events and encounters showcasing the most exciting contemporary Asian artists in Auckland. Sam Brooks interviewed the founder of Satellites, Rosabel Tan, and one of the artists, Ahi Karunaharan about this year's program.

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Gaming
Apr 30, 2019

A mother’s ashes: God of War, one year on

One year ago, God of War was unleashed on the world, selling millions of copies and winning countless awards. Sam Brooks finally catches up with the game.

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Television
Apr 29, 2019

Dancing with the Stars, week three: Mike McRoberts’ open shirt

Only three weeks in and it feels like a thousand! Sam Brooks power-ranks the third week of celebrity sweep-the-floor-with-a-lady competition, Dancing with the Stars NZ. The theme of this week is guilty …

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Music
Apr 28, 2019

Review: Aldous Harding’s Designer mixes a lush surface with compelling depth

Sam Brooks reviews Aldous Harding's mysterious and enthralling third album, Designer.

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Television
Apr 28, 2019

Anthems is a love letter to NZ’s most valuable export – our bangers

Sam Brooks reviews Anthems, a six-part documentary on New Zealand's iconic hits, which starts tonight on Prime.

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Marina
Apr 23, 2019

MARINA is back – minus her Diamonds

MARINA's new album drops in its entirety on April 26 – but where has she been, and where are the Diamonds? Sam Brooks chronicles the journey of popstar MARINA from Diamonds to caps lock.

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Television
Apr 22, 2019

Dancing with the Stars, week two: Sashay away of the century

Sam Brooks power-ranks week two of New Zealand's premiere celebrity charity shimmying show, Dancing with the Stars. 

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Gaming
Apr 20, 2019

The original 151 Pokémon ranked from worst to best

Sam Brooks digs into his childhood to present his magnum opus: a ranking of all 151 OG Pokémon.

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Television
Apr 15, 2019

Dancing with the Stars week one, night two: Mike McRoberts has abs

New Zealand’s celebrity perambulator competition continues tonight! Sam Brooks power-ranks the second night of the first week of Dancing with the Stars NZ.

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Gaming
Apr 15, 2019

Suikoden II is a cutesy, 16-bit Game of Thrones – and I love it

What's the best way to look at the biggest show on television at the moment? Through a 20 year old video game, of course, writes Sam Brooks.

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Television
Apr 14, 2019

Dancing with the Stars, week one: Right now, dance off!

New Zealand's celebrity movement competition returns tonight! Sam Brooks power-ranks the first week of Dancing with the Stars NZ.

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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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