Sam Brooks

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

Television
Dec 14, 2017

Is this the most heavyweight television cast in the history of ever?

Arriving December 19, Lightbox’s new historical epic The Hollow Crown is bringing some serious silver screen stars to your little streaming device. Sam Brooks shares a guide on where you know them from and who the heck they’re playing.

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Television
Sep 8, 2017

A manicure enthusiast polishes off a whole season of Boss Nails

The Spinoff's resident nail enthusiast Sam Brooks dives into nail salon reality show Boss Nails, and finds someone to model his messy life after.

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Politics
Sep 2, 2017

A courageous journey deep into the New Zealand First party list

This week NZ First released their full list of candidates. Sam Brooks took a deep dive into the trenches of the internet to find out who these people are, where they came from, and what they bring to Team Winston.

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Television
Sep 1, 2017

What else can New Zealand society blame on Westside?

After some scared principals blamed Westside for all their woes, Sam Brooks investigates what other carnage the Outrageous Fortune prequel has caused.

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International Cabaret Season
Aug 31, 2017

Five reasons why cabaret is the most fun you can have in a theatre

Forget the cliches of women in top hats and bustiers singing tired songs about heartbreak. Auckland Live's International Cabaret Season is full of energy, emotion, feminism and mischief, writes Sam Brooks.

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Auckland
Aug 30, 2017

‘I’m not a victim, yo!’ Playwright Maraea Rakuraku on the power of Māori theatre

Maraea Rakuraku is an award-winning playwright whose latest work is being presented in Te Pou's Kōanga Festival in September. Sam Brooks talked to her about history, playwriting and cultural commentary.

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Gaming
Aug 24, 2017

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy continues the series run of finding gold

Sam Brooks dives into the new Uncharted game, The Lost Legacy, with two progressively awesome protagonists and the classic cinematic gameplay pioneered by the series.

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Television
Aug 23, 2017

Decline and Fall is the closest thing we’ll get to Downton Abbey in 2017

Sam Brooks watches the new Eva Longoria vehicle Decline and Fall and finds a show more British than a pint of lager and a packet of crisps. 

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Gaming
Aug 22, 2017

Sam’s Celebrity Game Reviews: Shady Wars

Next up in Sam's Celebrity Game Reviews is Shady Wars, a game in which Sam has to reconcile his feelings for Eminem while throwing chainsaws at drones.

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Politics
Aug 18, 2017

Zinger-power-ranking the valedictory speeches

If it's your last speech in parliament, you might as well throw a little shade around, right? Sam Brooks reads the politicians' farewell addresses so you don't have to.

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Society
Aug 14, 2017

A play-by-play of a 32 year old Cobb & Co staff training video

Ever wondered what Cobb & Co's menu looked like in the 80s? Thanks to the Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Archive, Sam Brooks knows. Now he's ready to share the disturbing results.

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Television
Aug 10, 2017

The dream of the 90s is alive in Search Party

Sam Brooks watches Search Party, the indie-inspired comedy that contains as many mysteries as 90s stars.

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Gaming
Aug 9, 2017

Review: Tacoma is soft sci-fi, in the best way

Sam Brooks reviews the latest from Gone Home hitmaker Fullbright: a meander through an abandoned space station called Tacoma.

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Gaming
Aug 4, 2017

Sam’s Celebrity Game Reviews – Nicki Minaj: The Empire

Next up in Sam's Celebrity Game Reviews is Nicki Minaj: The Empire, in which you play a character who becomes fast friends with Nicki Minaj and ends up performing as her opening act.

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Auckland
Aug 4, 2017

Review: The Effect feels like less than it could be

Fractious Tash's new production as part of Q's Matchbox Season, The Effect, doesn't quite translate the play's complexities into a production, writes Sam Brooks.

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Television
Aug 1, 2017

Four reasons why you haven’t watched The Good Wife – and four more why you absolutely should

The Good Wife is one of those show that has always seemed to be around, but you've probably never seen. Sam Brooks tells you why you haven't watched it yet, and why you should fix that immediately.

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Television
Jul 27, 2017

Where are the stars of Being Eve now?

After watching an episode of the slightly weird teen-oriented show while on painkillers (legitimate medical reasons), Sam Brooks goes on an internet investigation to find out what the cast are doing now.

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Television
Jul 26, 2017

A look back at the ‘toxically compelling’ 90s teen drama Popular

Now one of the most lauded television producers in the world, Ryan Murphy didn't start well. Sam Brooks was there in the 90s to witness the hot mess that is Popular.

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Music
Jul 25, 2017

Review: Lust for Life is classic road-trip music, but not classic Lana Del Rey

Is Lana Del Rey's new album too much Lana Del Rey? Sam Brooks reviews Lust for Life.

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Gaming
Jul 25, 2017

DreamDaddy is one hundred percent dreamy and one hundred percent daddy

Sam Brooks takes the plunge and reviews the dating sim that not only lets you play as a dad, but lets you date other dads.

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Media
Jul 24, 2017

A play-by-play of Kim Hill’s weekend knockout match with Scott Brown

Over the weekend, US Ambassador Scott Brown had what he probably thought was an interview scheduled with Kim Hill. What actually ensued was a brilliantly shady media boxing match. Sam Brooks gives his play-by-play.

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Society
Jul 22, 2017

A minority community can be its own enemy

On Wednesday Express magazine published an article about Paul Heard, confirming his resignation from the New Zealand Aids Foundation in the wake of a very racist Facebook post. The community reaction was immediate, vitriolic and hugely problematic, writes Sam Brooks.

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Gaming
Jul 21, 2017

Sam’s Celebrity Game Reviews: Sniper X with Jason Statham

Next up in Sam's Celebrity Game Reviews is Sniper X with Jason Statham, where Jason Statham problematically gets people to shoot other people with their phones.

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Television
Jul 20, 2017

How re-watching all 146 episodes of The Nanny changed my life

One day last year Sam Brooks started re-watching The Nanny and didn't stop. Six seasons later, this is what he learned.

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Auckland
Jul 19, 2017

The play’s called Cock but nobody wears a chicken suit: an interview with the director

Former Silo Theatre artistic director Shane Bosher is back in Auckland to direct two new Silo shows, Cock (co-presented with Auckland Live) and A Streetcar Named Desire. Sam Brooks talked to him about them both.

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Gaming
Jul 5, 2017

Sam’s Celebrity Game Reviews: Tom Daley Dive 2012

In the second instalment of Sam's Celebrity Game Reviews, Sam takes a spin on a five year old game fronted by a somewhat successful and famous-within-a-specific-niche sportsman.

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Gaming
Jun 28, 2017

Sam’s celebrity game review: Demi Lovato – Path to Fame

In the first in this new celebrity-endorsed-and-branded mobile game series, Sam Brooks plays the upsettingly addictive Demi Lovato: Path to Fame.

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