So there you are, sitting on the couch, enjoying one of the more thoughtful and gently poignant moments of Wipeout, when BLAMMO — the commercials blare at double the volume of the show.
Startled, you scramble to retrieve the remote from the folds of your Snuggie, knocking the half-devoured bag of Cheetos off your belly and thereby dusting the entire room with fluorescent orange pseudocheese.
Thankfully, it’s a ritual that may soon be rendered extinct. Today is the deadline set by the Federal Communications Commission for all TV broadcasters to ensure that commercials must maintain the “same average volume” as the shows they accompany.
Congress even came up with a cute name for the mandate — the CALM act, which stands for Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation. Cute!
Of course, this is open to some interpretation. By this logic, commercials accompanying PGA golf tournaments would be barely audible, while those during WWE Raw would all need to be shouted in a cartoonishly threatening manner.
But overall, the FCC ruling is the best innovation to hit television since the DVR (which, come to think of it, allows us to bypass watching commercials entirely, which is way better). For those not yet blessed by the magic of the DVR, a federal ruling forbidding excessively loud commercials is a step in the right direction. You can even tattle on non-compliant TV stations by contacting the FCC with noise complaints.
Every rule has an exception, however. One genre of commercials should be granted a full reprieve from the FCC ruling. In fact, they should be louder: