"Norse by Norsevest" & "Somewhere Over the Rainbow Bridge" from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Season 5 (1998)
Hercules has a bad dream and goes north to save Balder from the scheming Loki. I have a high tolerance for cheese, but this exceeded my wildest expectations. To be fair, the show doesn't take itself too seriously and operates on a seriously tight budget, but there's a reason I always preferred its sister show Xena. The acting was especially terrible in these episodes, and everyone except possibly Hercules seemed to have been hit by the idiot ball. Let's go to town.
Loki is unusually blond in this version, but then, this is the north, where everyone is kinda blond, right?? He gets the bleach blond though, falling soundly into the Blond Guys Are Evil And Kinda Effeminate Too trope. He does some nice eye-rolling at Thor (who's perpetually angry at everything), but he's not a very convincing liar, so, fail. Like with Marvel, he's the jealous brother of Thor (and Balder), scheming to get them out of the way, with the help of frost giants (the budget doesn't stretch to seeing more than some spidery claws onscreen).
Balder is nice to the mortals, but Thor learns a Very Valuable Lesson by the end that he has to as well. The Vikings and Norse Gods are both fond of the practice of hitting one another for fun and Hercules lectures them on how it's terribly uncivilised of them. It's the cold that makes them like that apparently. Oh, and there's the most anti-climactic Ragnarok ever, but don't worry, there's a reset button, because the Norns can't really see into the future. Or something. It's all pretty entertaining anyway.
I think the best line (and the best acted) of the story was Loki's: "I haaaate it when a plan falls apart!" *runs away*
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