I once thought that Liz Lemon was the most important female character in the last decade or two. Women so rarely get the juicy roles, both comedic and sympathetic. Typically women are reduced to passive waifs or crackpot harpies in peripheral rather than as central characters, but with the breakout popularity of the Liz Lemon type I thought that we might get to see more interesting (re: dramatic) female characters. I think we have seen some and will see more, but I can no longer attribute the movement in part to Tina Fey because I have now watched the Urtext to her success.
Holly Hunter as Jane Craig in Broadcast News is Liz Lemon (without the sitcom-y zaniness). Holly Hunter is wonderful next to the halo’d but semi-oafish William Hurt (a character -I can’t help but point out- that also shows up in 30 Rock), but while comedic and romantic (in ways that makes its brother The Network feel tedious) Broadcast News is also resolute in its social critique and immanently enjoyable.