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The meaning of life

Alan Ball’s obsession with mortality has resulted in “American Beauty,” “Six Feet Under” and “True Blood.” He’s not done yet. His latest, “Here and Now,” continues to wrestle with life-or-death issues through the eyes of a washed-up philosophy professor (Tim Robbins) and his mopey family. There’s an element of the supernatural at play — one son keeps seeing “11 11” references — but the most out-of-this-world draw to this ponderous drama is Holly Hunter, mesmerizing as usual as the clan’s control-freak mother.

8 p.m. Sun., HBO

Captive audience

The documentary “The Radical Story of Patty Hearst” stretches over six hours, starting with two back-to-back episodes this weekend. That may seem like overkill, but the premiere gets you hooked, thanks to testimonials from Hearst’s ex-boyfriend and one of the Symbionese Liberation Army terrorists.

8 p.m. Sun., CNN

More than words

Words aren’t always necessary to convey charm and humor, as proven by the new dramedy “This Close.” Deaf actors Shoshannah Stern and Josh Feldman, who also co-wrote the series, play best friends who deal with the aftermath of her recent engagement. Cheryl Hines, Marlee Matlin and Zach Gilford are among the familiar faces making guest appearances.

Starts streaming Wed. on Sundance Now

Neal Justin