In the past, friends and co-workers would go out of their way to recommend books to you. Now, it's a far more common occurrence for a friend to give you a homework assignment of watching the first three seasons of Game of Thrones over the weekend rather than lending you a copy of a classic novel. With the competitiveness of cable TV shows, pop culture conversations have become dominated with talk of season finales, predictions and spoilers.

Generally, if someone is recommending a series, they'll casually mention that you can catch up to everyone else watching it on Netflix. This internet TV site typically streams seasons one year behind, but has a massive collection of some of the best television series ever to play on the small screen. The following television series are ten of the best streaming selections on Netflix currently. Cancel your weekend plans, start up your Netflix app and take a seat because you're about to make a time investment you won't regret.

10. "Firefly"
Prepare for the most compact enjoyment that will leave you with years of distrust and unhappiness. Joss Whedon's "Firefly" will not require a huge time investment. There are only 14 episodes and the follow-up movie, "Serenity." Once you begin this show, you will be shocked at how quickly you fall in love with the crew of misfits in this certified space Western. It won't take much time to watch this series, but your love for it will continue long after the final episode.

9. "The X-Files"
Even if you're not into shows about government cover-ups and alien conspiracies, "The X-Files" is a very watchable show based on the partnership of FBI agents Mulder and Scully. There are a full nine seasons to binge through, with at least seven of those seasons being high-quality.

8. "The Office"
Netflix is host to the U.S. and U.K. versions of "The Office," which has been adapted in several countries. This relatable comedy perfected the documentary-style sitcom formula. Whether you prefer the pitiful David Brent or painfully awkward Michael Brent as your boss, you can't go wrong in terms of sheer comedy. While each series starts in a similar fashion, they branch off and are both worth watching.

7. "24"
How can you say no to eight full seasons of Jack Bauer? He commonly screams that "there is no time!" What he means is, there is no time like the present to start this thrilling story-arc-driven roller coaster. You may need to take breaks between every season, as it can get exhausting. However, once you start one episode, there's a good chance you will be watching them at a rate of five episodes per night.

6. "Dexter"
It's nearly impossible to recommend a series where the lead character is a serial killer. However, his morbidly funny inner monologue and his penchant for taking out evil people justifies his character. If you stop watching after season four, you wouldn't be blamed.

5. "Arrested Development"
If you haven't caught on to every inside joke yet, what are you waiting for? This story of an incredibly dysfunctional family and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together is one of the best-written sitcoms of all time. It gained so much postmortem support that Netflix revived the series seven years after its demise.

4. "The Twilight Zone"
Combining science fiction with a bit of social commentary, every episode plays out as a short, eerie story in the Twilight Zone. This is the king of anthology series and won't be replaced anytime soon. Your knowledge of this classic television series will surely elevate your pop culture status.

3. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
Forget about the ludicrous-sounding title and let yourself be swept up in this seven-season saga. What starts out with a typical monster-of-the-week formula soon turns into emotional and intense story arcs. While the soundtrack and fashion may take you back to the '90s, it's well worth the trip.

2. "Doctor Who"
Starting out this low-budget time-and-space adventure series can be a bit wibbly, wobbly, timey, wimey, but once you get invested in the characters and mythology, you will never forget the echoing sounds of the TARDIS. It's best to start this series with the 2005 revival and watch up to the current seasons. If you are a true fan, Netflix has a great deal of the classic series.

1. "Breaking Bad"
Watching the devolution of a high school chemistry teacher as he journeys through corruption and ends up as a first-class criminal is fascinating. This is one of the bleakest series you can stream, but once you are invested around season two, you won't be able to stop watching. Hopefully you've managed to avoid enough spoilers so you can start this series fresh.

There are many streaming TV services, all with great exclusives and original programming. Netflix is just one of the online TV sites that allow you to watch full seasons on your schedule. If you get tired of the shallow movie selection, you might just find your new favorite series hidden in the TV category.

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