According to Fiske in his cultural study of television, there are codes which are followed in programs in order to portray characters and themes. After viewing and episoded of Sex and the City, I have found a few examples of how codes were used during the show in the editing, ideological and action codes.
In this particular episode, Carrie is struggling with trying to forget an ex-boyfriend. After he makes his appearance in the beginning of the show, he is involved in every scene with Carrie, whether it be talking about him, narrating about him, or he himself being in the scene, his character is involved throughout the episode. Carrie's current boyfriend however is not involved as often. According to Fiske, the characters who viewers are supposed to like or be 'rooting for' will have more time in the show, "thus our moral judgement, is justified". While being involved with her ex again would be "unhealthy" for her, she, and the viewers, are still are curious as to if there will be a rekindling in their romance.
"...the idealogical codes are also important, for it is these that make sense out of the relationship between the technical code of casting and the social code of apperance" [Fiske]. The physical attractiveness of a character will impact the viewers expectations of the character... so even though Mr. Big is not a healthy choice for Carrie, seeing them together is supposed to stimulate the idea that they look good together, and subconciously we are hoping they end up together again. "These codes and the television codes which bring them to the viewer are both deeply embedded in the ideological codes of which they are themselves the bearers" [Fiske].
In the action sequences of Sex and the City, Carrie can be compared to the two men involved in this episode, Aiden her boyfriend and Mr. Big her ex-boyfriend. In the beginning sequences of Carrie and Aiden together, they are close, touching, comfortable with eachother and Carrie appears to be very happy. In the beginning sequences of Carrie and Mr. Big, they are very awkward, uncomfortable, and Carrie is upset. As the show progresses, Carrie is becoming more uncomfortable around Aiden and the physical distance between them is full of obsticals and obstructions and noise. Simultateously, her contact with Big in the final scene is physically close, they are calm, and ultimately end up in bed. The physical closeness and separation of Carrie with both men is simultaneously corresponding to the relationship she has with them and what they mean to her.
I especially liked this episode because it dealt with the issue of following heart or head. How easy is it for us to contradict ourselves? To be aware of the consequences of our actions when we pick them apart logically, and then in the same instance believe that if it feels right in our heart it must be the right thing...