The footage focuses almost exclusively on backstabbing and self-interest. It's small-minded and cynical, but no more than the stuff in The Federalist Papers about the awfulness of human nature. The show is solidly American.
This season is shaping up to be a good one, with strong personalities and savvy players. The Redemption Island twist is making for compelling duels, and no one knows yet how the winner of the Island challenges will integrate back into the tribe.
"Survivor" gave us some interesting insight into group dynamics and social behavior, but the complete lack of gameplay by anyone other than Rob or Russell Hantz made the season much less than we have come to expect from the show.