I just spent 4 hours listening to the "TTV roasts" video (and I'm salty that I missed the live one), and it kinda got me thinking about how I think of each of the hosts and the way they present themselves and interact... I don't know whether my ramblings will translate to any meaningful suggestions for improvements, but these are one listener's thoughts on each of the hosts:
I'll probably get increasingly salty as I'm typing this, so expect things to get a bit... satirical
Takuma: Let's start with the ones who were not around... honestly, my main complaint is just that. What does Takuma do? Seriously? I mean, even when he's on the podcast, he doesn't seem to speak up that often, which is sad 'cause I like the fact that he often sounds relatively coherent within the chaos that the podcast (rather amusingly) often degrades too. That and he was easily the most interesting person to watch on the Vessel versions of Book Club because even when listening he's...animated in a comic, exaggerated way that's pretty amusing to watch. Maybe that's just me. Shame we don't get to see more of it, though.
By the way, if you guys do end up making a show out of the RPG, which would be like the first thing that Takuma is actually regularly involved in, add webcams; speaking from my limited RPG experience, I can say that the ability to see a person, even if they don't 'act' their character much, helps a lot in making the game enjoyable to play and to watch. Especially if that person looks and acts like they walked in from the comic pages.
Exx: @prpldragon's drawings of him are cute. He's from somewhere in Scandinavia. I can remember him being on maybe two podcasts, though granted I've only been around for a year so maybe he's in some older ones...? That's all I know. Yeah, I suppose the location thing makes scheduling a nightmare, but I honestly haven't heard enough of Exx to actually form a cohesive opinion on him... which is kind of problematic. Moving on.
Purple ha. Hahahahaha. HAHHAHAHAHA! .... seriously. You were hired... two weeks ago? Three weeks? You draw stuff. Really frickn' great stuff. That's all I know. Might be a viable candidate for roasting next year, when we actually have learned something about you besides: 'You draw stuff. Really frickn' great stuff.'
Viper: Kinda similar to Takuma in terms of quantitative presence, automatically stands out because... well, whenever I hear a woman's voice on the podcast, I can be pretty sure it's Viper talking. Unfortunately, half the time she ends up a) defending accents and/or British-isms of her and Kahi, which sooner or later gets tiring, b) being spoken over by someone who can produce more volume with a mic or c) blabbering incoherently through uncontrolled laughter about something that everyone else is completely clueless about. I think Viper's perfectly capable of bringing up interesting points and perspectives in a discussion, but due to the things above... I'm not hearing it often. Maybe that 'History of Bionicle' thing that used to be mentioned on her 'cast' page would have given some more opportunity for that. Like the dark humor, though.
Venom: Whenever I hear "I'm .Venom" in the introductions, the first thing that comes up in my mind is: "oh, he's here too," followed by: "well, there'll be a few interjections throughout whatever argument breaks out between the louder folks, but not much beyond that." I feel more or less the same when I hear "I'm Viper" (though she's on pretty often, at least) and "I'm Takuma Nuva," but a lot of the time I'm a lot more interested in what they have to say than in what Venom brings to the table; not because Venom doesn't have anything interesting to say, though, but in the way he says it.
My real issue with Venom is this: he sounded sooooooooo much more personable and energetic in his defence/retort/whatever-you-call-it after his roast than I've ever considered him to in just about any podcast or the MOC spotlight, particularly the latter. Really dude, when I pay attention you bring up a lot of interesting points about whatever MOC you're looking over that week, and you couple that with a detailed analysis that I'd really appreciate... if you didn't deliver it in a monotone that could rival that of the professors in whose classes my notes could be summed up as: twenty crude Bionicle drawings and a sentence about (insert subject of class here). It makes it sound like you're phoning it in, which really doesn't do the show any good. The thing that makes TTV interesting to listen to, for me, is the energy; find a way to bring that into your speech.
Meso: The 'white knight' thing? Yeah... it really doesn't do Meso much good. I recall at one point Var mentioning that Meso isn't the most interesting person to listen to, and well, he's right; Meso comes off as just a regular, nice, but therefore rather boring guy most of the time, unless someone else really manages to provoke him into an argument, which for some reason I don't remember happening that often. I suppose that personality works well for reporting the news, which is one of the things the channel does so good job there, but... whenever I think back on episode 'highlights' and things that just stuck out to me, Meso isn't in there. Except when laughing in the background. Or when he's seeing diamonds everywhere. Methonak...
Eljay: Officially disproves the idea that the eye of the storm is supposed to be relatively calm as compared to... well, the storm around it. As mentioned in the roast, Eljay's mellowed a lot, but that image of him seemingly stoking controversy just for the sake of starting a verbal riot and then competing with Var for who can shout the loudest over it hasn't really faded yet. And those arguments do make the podcast more fun to listen to... up to a point. A point Eljay seems to habitually force it past.
I think it's due this aspect of his personality: Eljay will not ever back down from anything. He is always right, and not friendly suggestions, rational arguments, irrational arguments, desperate attempts to move the discussion along, threats, or even brutal and overpowering vocal force from the opposition will convince him otherwise, and he will have the discussion go around in circles until he either stops being argued against or things get so hot inside that Miru that he collapses from hyperthermia. Now, the TTV podcast thrives on argument, or rather 'lively' discussion, that keeps it all interesting to listen to, and luckily this doesn't happen as often as it used to, but every once in a while... Eljay needs to be checked. Preferably by a doctor.
Kahi: Arguments, arguments, arguments... Kahi seems to rapidly be evolving into "Eljay 2.0." New in version 2.0: the replacement of visceral anger with just enough hints of fact to make the argument appear more fearsome on the surface. The opposition is not impressed with 'Eljay 2.0', though, and as such frequently makes him the target of all sorts of running gags based on cultural differences, which are interesting enough up until the point that the argument veers into racial territory, at which point no one seems to be able to say anything coherent anymore. End result? Kahi often seems to progress from relatively calm and sensible early on to increasingly desperate to get his point across by any means necessary by the end. This is the one who's working on becoming a lawyer, right?
Seriously, though, when he isn't having to defend himself with tooth and claw from everything that is rightfully and not rightfully being thrown his way, Kahi does have useful and interesting things to say, which I suppose is a lot better than the old Kahi who I mostly recognized as the one who could ramble on about an experience for three times the amount of time in which said experience actually took place without ever arriving at something that even resembled a point.
Var: Comes up in my mind as lacking three things: a filter, a shred of empathy, and a volume knob. Small wonder Eljay kisses his butt so much; Var rivals Donald Trump for the title of "Most Domineering Personality Among Their Usual Company," and would be a contender against the 1883 big eruption cataclysmic explosion of Mt. Krakatoa for "Loudest Thing Recorded on Tape" except 'tape' isn't really used anymore. Seriously, when I think of Var, I think of Var shouting over everyone, only interrupted periodically by that most annoying of sounds: the censoring bleep. And audio distortions from his poor beleaguered microphone not being able to keep up with jet-engine noise levels.
Frankly, I would have loved to have seen that lack of apparent empathy brought up in the roast, though, except everyone was apparently too scared to mention it: Var's personality in-podcast is basically the polar opposite of Meso's: Meso empathizes and tries way too hard to see all sides in everything, coming off as exceedingly bland in the process, while Var can and will say whatever pleases his majesty regardless of what side he's on, coming off as exceedingly blunt in the process. Maybe it is just a 'on-screen persona' type of thing, but well, as someone who really only recognizes the cast from how they present themselves on the podcast, Var comes off as... annoying and rude, like Old Eljay but without that 'poor guy, that's just who he is' factor to make it tolerable. Also, by this point any and all variations of "MARDI GRAAAAAH" and "You're fired" are getting a bit old as far as jokes go.
But whatever, Var's the CEO, so what he says goes. Especially when even someone with a megaphone would struggle to be heard over him when he decides he has something more important to say.