Looking back on the Sex and the City column that inspired the hit HBO franchise, Candace Bushnell tells PEOPLE, "I've always felt like I was going to do something big"
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Candace Bushnell
Credit: William Thomas Cain

Candace Bushnell fondly remembers the early days of Sex and the City.

The writer, 63 — who penned the New York Observer column Sex and the City, which inspired the Emmy Award-winning HBO series of the same name starring Sarah Jessica Parker — tells PEOPLE that she's "always loved the pilot because it was directed by Susan Seidelman."

"I really do," she adds of the show's first episode, explaining that the series premiere in 1998 was a "really interesting experience."

"There were a lot of episodes that I've really enjoyed — probably too many to name," Bushnell continues. "I would say my favorite episodes are definitely in the first two seasons because that, to me, feels the most authentic and really captures the spirit of the book."

Bushnell's confessional 1990s newspaper column was later adapted into her bestselling Sex and the City anthology, which then inspired the hit franchise that spanned six seasons on HBO as well as two feature films and the upcoming revival And Just Like That…, premiering Thursday on HBO Max.

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Audiences followed the lives of the fashionable foursome comprised of Carrie Bradshaw (Parker), Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon), Charlotte York (Kristin Davis) and Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall).

"They were a bit bad---," Bushnell adds of the show's iconic characters.

While speaking with PEOPLE about her one-woman Off-Broadway show Is There Still Sex in the City?, which opened Tuesday at New York City's Daryl Roth Theatre, Bushnell also reminisced on the late-night hangouts that inspired her famed column.

"When I was writing Sex and the City, I would have a bunch of girlfriends come over, and we would discuss a topic, like we would discuss the modelizers or all kinds of things, threesomes, whatever!" she recalls.

Looking back, Bushnell says, "I've always felt like I was going to do something big, ever since I was a kid." However, she adds, "It took a really long time. I didn't start writing Sex and the City until I was 34."

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This week, the Sex and the City revival And Just Like That… will reunite Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte as they navigate personal and professional life as 50-somethings in the Big Apple.

On Monday, Nixon, 55, posted to Instagram announcing she finished filming the highly anticipated show's first season, writing in the caption, "I'm so grateful and in awe of what our incredible crew accomplished. My thanks to each and every one of you."

In her photos, Nixon and her crew wore matching jackets that had "better not younger" stitched on the back.

In addition to acting in the revival, Nixon directed an episode. In October, the former New York gubernatorial candidate announced the news on Instagram.

And Just Like That… premieres Dec. 9 on HBO Max.