I think the torch was in the process of being passed to Abby, Jan, and Ben and then the world fell apart (I'm aware this thread SORTA predates that) and at this point, I think they ARE all struggling to keep their heads above water. Remember that for all the anxiety and worry that we as members of the site have, they ALSO have AND they have to put on a brave face and be entertaining for hours out of the day. That has to be EXHAUSTING, so I don't really begrudge them being 'low-energy' at times.
Also the industry is undergoing a needed change and a bunch of REALLY unpleasant shit has bubbled up to the surface, so the idea of trying to paint the industry right now as "Feelin' Fine" would be disingenuous, and exactly what companies like Ubisoft are TRYING to cultivate, so I admire GB's ability to take the room's temperature and keep it REAL.
I don't think any of them are "too jaded or cynical," I just don't think they have any responsibility to feign excitement over Ubi's new TIME SAVER MECHANICS (we make the grind, we sell you the way to skip it) or its apolitical "SHOOT LOOTERS IN THE BACK, BUT THERE'S NO MESSAGE HERE!" bullshit, EA's newest cash-grab, or Activision's newest round of highly profitable lay-offs. To say NOTHING of what's going on with the indies at the moment.
It's a HARD TIME right now, so the fact that they can be delighted or enthusiastic about ANYTHING is a fucking miracle. Go and watch Jeff mark out in Ranking of Fighters over that weird Japanese Mortal Kombat clone, go watch Vinny and Brad play Astroneer, or Abby play The Sims. Watch Jan's delight over Bloodborne's weirdness, and Ben's excitement over Fighting Herds, and TRY to remember: just because they're not looking forward to thing YOU'RE looking forward to, doesn't mean they've "lost all their passion for gaming."
Anyway, those events (the BLLSL and the GOTY skits) seemed like a TON of work. They seemed like a TON of work for how little work they felt like they were putting into it (it takes a lot of effort to LOOK low-end while actually trying very hard), and if they don't have a great idea that they're passionate about? I'd rather they just give us the ultra-long podcasts. The last thing I want is for them to look like they're going through the motions.