I watch a fair amount of television, and I watch Sex and the City for a variety of reasons, not because I especially love it (I don’t), but I’m trying to figure out why it has been so successful and how a major studio produces a one camera location-based comedy (and more importantly, how to capture a female audience). The writing is pretty snappy (though in the later seasons it turned out be fixated on cuteness and babies). Also, it commits the cardinal sin of sitcom writing: making each episode about a guest character’s quirk (“small penis,” etc). The Mr. Big backstory is way overdone, and most of the characters are more caricatures than individual characters. Still, as I’ve observed before, sitcoms can usually do interesting things with stock characters, especially if the acting is superb (see Drew Carey Show, for example).
There are lots of expensive settings and camera shots, most of which are not useful for DIY people like myself. But picture this. The camera hides behind a street pole, following Miranda as she walks toward it, tracking it a little bit. Then it crosses her, showing a behind-the-shoulder shot of what’s ahead of her: an ex-boyfriend. Suddenly, the camera whirls back to its previous position, while Miranda ducks behind the pole and follows her ex-boyfriend while he walks in the direction she came from. A short backwards dolly shot lets you have the sense of Miranda following the ex around the pool and leaving where you came from, then it sweeps back to Miranda who is stumbling backwards in the direction from where her ex-boyfriend was. My god!