This week's episode has exactly what you're looking for.
I wasn't as attached to Ryan as a lot of people were (still breaks my heart that he isn't around anymore), so I've listened to every Bombcast since.
Vinny still has that amazing energy he's always had. Maybe even moreso. Brad has recently backed off of the DOTA talk, which is great.
Jeff is still Jeff. He seems a little tired and run-down sometimes, which is completely understandable. When he gets a spark of energy in him, though, he's great.
I love Drew as a person but I wish he'd play more games that I was interested in. I know he's the chief video duder so his time to play games is limited, but I get kind of bored when all he's done that week is play some virtual reality racing game. Though this week he played some Beyond, which was great. He had some cool stuff to say about that. It would be nice if they'd bring another video guy or an intern or something. Take even a little bit off his shoulders so he has time to play one non-simulation game a week.
It's good, it's different. I think I enjoyed it most a couple of months ago when the whole crew was still on the cast and they were discussing cyborgs vs humans. Then Patrick left town and Ryan died. We're in the quiet before the launch storm, if not for MS's back pedalling there would not have been a lot of compelling content recently. A lot of factors came together in a short span to hurt the cast.
That being said, the cast will find it's way back. If I may, I would liken it to Howard Stern losing Artie Lange. Ryan's wit will be missed, but the crew will find a way to fill the void and the show will be just as good, in a slightly different way.
Is it weird that I only started listening AFTER it happened?
Nah not really. I used to listen all the time, and stopped for at least 2 years, but now I'm back to listening mainly because of what happened. I'm going slowly back through the archive of podcasts and it's great.
I would just like to say, if you guys are reading this: Of course the bombcast is different. Obiviously, to expect it not to be after such a horrific loss is bonkers. But is it for the worse? I guess some people are likely to say so. But if this post and the responses are indication of anything it is that it becomes kinda what you want it to be. If you go in with an attitude of "it's probably a lot shittier", guess what, you're probably going to find all kinds of stuff that is different and therefore you'll think it's less good. But if you just take it for what it is, and try not to go in with any specific expectations I think you will find it enjoyable just as you found pre-Ryans-passing bombcast enjoyable. Keep doing what you do Jeff, Vinny, Brad, Drew and the rest and don't worry 'bout it. Cause you being you is exactly what everyone wants, even if they don't know it.