Community season 6 picks up exactly where the show left off, dropping us into a lovably dysfunctional environment where nothing ever works as promised with hilarious results. But who could have predicted that Yahoo Screen (the show’s new video streaming host) would be just as dysfunctional and nowhere near as lovable?
To put it bluntly, Yahoo Screen is terrible. Every time I’ve loaded it in my desktop browser it lags, freezes, crashes and forces me to watch four ads in a row. Not once, but multiple times per episode and during poorly timed commercial breaks. This Tuesday, after spending half-an-hour struggling to watch roughly 10 minutes worth of Community, I threw in the towel and turned to Twitter to vent my frustration.
What's your favorite thing about Yahoo screen? The endless ads or the glitchy interface?
— jake from state farm (@jacobkleinman) March 24, 2015
A quick search later that night revealed I wasn’t alone. Turns out everyone is having trouble watching Community on Yahoo Screen. Here’s a quick taste of what people are saying on Twitter:
I love Community but this Yahoo Screen player is almost bad enough to make me not watch it.
— Jason Lyon (@suddenlyissoon) March 18, 2015
I don't want my watching Community on Yahoo Screen to be implicit acceptance of how glitchy and terrible the video interface is.
— Ben Burris (@BurrisCommaBen) March 25, 2015
— Mike Kaess (@mikekaess) March 18, 2015
Yahoo Screen is absolutely terrible. Why did they have to get Community?! @netflix y u no get it?!
— Encer_Spay (@Encer_Spay) March 19, 2015
Wow, The yahoo screen player is awful. makes me want to just pirate the new episodes of community.
— kitlerc (@kitlerc) March 19, 2015
Okay, so watching the rest of Community season 6 on my computer definitely isn’t an option, but what about Roku? The result is a little better, but you’re only trading a buggy interface for one that’s just plain confusing.
The interface to Yahoo Screen on Roku is incomprehensible.
— The One True b!X (@theonetruebix) March 18, 2015
I'm stoked Community is back, but Yahoo has just an awful app and Roku channel. Terrible to navigate and controls are confusing to use
— Chris Zois (@zoischicago) March 24, 2015
— Amy Chamberlain (@bramblerambles) March 21, 2015
Finally, I found a solution. It turns out Yahoo Screen has a great iOS app, or at least it works great on my iPhone 6 Plus. Of course, I’d rather watch on a bigger screen, but this is still better than nothing.
Unfortunately, it looks like the Android equivalent doesn’t really hold up. The app has a solid four stars on Google Play, but its recent reviews section is full of Community fans disappointed with a buggy interface and the lack of Chromecast support.
If Yahoo ever wants to compete directly with Netflix, Hulu and YouTube, it needs to fix these issues immediately. Throwing money at original content isn’t enough. That content should also be able to stream competently on all sorts of devices.
Otherwise Community’s fans may not stick around for six seasons or a movie.